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You are on page 1of 234

A thesis submitted to the University of Manchester for the degree of

Doctor of Philosophy in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

2012

List of Contents

Page No.

List of Figures ................................................................................................. 7

List of Tables ................................................................................................... 16

List of Abbreviations and Symbols ................................................................. 18

1.1 Statement of the research problem. .......................................................... 28

1.2 Objectives and methodology of the research. ........................................... 29

1.3 Layout of the thesis. .................................................................................. 30

2.1 The research problem ................................................................................ 33

2.2 Current codes of practice ........................................................................... 35

2.3 Previous research studies ........................................................................... 40

2.3.1 Behaviour and failure modes of axially compressed columns under a

transverse impact load ..................................................................... 41

2.3.2 Analytical research studies .....................................................................44

2.3.3 Vehicle characteristics ............................................................................49

2.3.3.1 Simplifying approaches ...............................................................51

2.3.3.2 Quantifying vehicle stiffness .......................................................52

2.5 Summary .................................................................................................... 56

ABAQUS/Explicit

3.1 Introduction ................................................................................................ 57

3.2 Dynamic impact analysis using finite element commercial code

ABAQUS/Explicit ........................................................................................... 57

3.2.1 Summary of the explicit dynamics algorithm .........................................58

3.2.2 Modelling parameters for structural impact simulation using

ABAQUS/Explicit...................................................................................60

3.2.2.1Geometrical modelling ................................................................60

3.2.2.2 Material modelling .....................................................................61

A. Classical metal plasticity model ........................................................ 62

B. Strain hardening ................................................................................ 62

C. Strain rate dependence....................................................................... 63

D. Progressive damage and failure for ductile metal ............................. 64

2

B. Defining the contact using the general contact approach .................. 72

3.2.2.5 Damping effects ..........................................................................74

3.2.2.6 Sequence of axial load application ..............................................76

3.3.1 Global plastic buckling failure ................................................................78

3.3.1.1Model descriptions .......................................................................79

3.3.1.2 Simulation results ........................................................................81

3.3.1.3 Damping effect ............................................................................82

3.3.2 Tensile tearing failure .............................................................................83

3.3.2.1 Model descriptions ......................................................................84

3.3.2.2 Modelling of tensile failure .........................................................84

3.3.2.3 Simulation results ........................................................................85

3.3.3 Shear failure ............................................................................................87

3.3.3.1 Model descriptions .....................................................................87

3.3.3.2 Modelling of shear failure ...........................................................88

3.3.3.3 Simulation results ........................................................................89

Modes of Axially Loaded Steel Columns Subjected to a Rigid Mass

Impact

4.1 Introduction ................................................................................................ 94

4.2 Parametric study ........................................................................................ 94

4.2.1 Steel columns ..........................................................................................95

4.2.1.1 Modelling properties ...................................................................96

4.2.1.2 Mesh size sensitivity ...................................................................97

4.2.2 The impacting mass ................................................................................101

4.2.3 Modelling of contact ...............................................................................102

4.2.4 Analysis of simulation results .................................................................103

4.2.4.1 Failure modes ..............................................................................103

4.2.4.2 Impact energy ..............................................................................109

4.2.4.3 Critical impact velocity ...............................................................113

4.2.4.4 Plastic hinge location ..................................................................115

4.2.4.5 Effect of impact direction ............................................................118

4.2.4.6. Damping effects .........................................................................119

4.2.4.7 Effects of strain hardening and strain rate ...................................120

Vulnerability of Axially Compressed Steel Columns Against Vehicle

Frontal Impact

5.1Introduction ................................................................................................. 124

5.2 Vehicle characteristics .............................................................................. 125

5.3 Simplified vehicle model ........................................................................... 126

5.3.1 Validation................................................................................................127

5.3.1.1 Vehicle impact on a rigid barrier.................................................127

5.3.1.2 Validation of the spring-mass system against the numerical

simulation of a vehicle impact on a column using a full-scale

numerical vehicle model .............................................................131

A. Full scale numerical vehicle model ........................................131

B. Validation for vehicle impact on steel columns .....................132

5.3.2 Sensitivity of column behaviour to stiffness parameters K1 and K2 .......139

5.3.3 Determining an appropriate simplified vehicle model ...........................141

5.3.4 Effect of increasing vehicle weight ........................................................146

5.4.1 Derivation of the vehicle stiffness equation ...........................................149

5.4.2 Validation of the suggested stiffness equation .......................................152

Predicting the Critical Velocity of Transverse Rigid Body Impact and

Vehicle Impact on Steel Columns

6.1 Introduction. .............................................................................................. 155

6.2 Derivations of the simplified analytical method........................................ 156

6.2.1. Developing the energy balance equation ...............................................156

6.2.2 Energy absorbed by the columns deformation (IEcol) ...........................157

6.2.2.1 Derivations of the maximum elastic and critical rotations ( iElastic and

iCritical ) ........................................................................................159

A. Selecting the elastic deformation shape ....................................160

B. Determination of the intermediate plastic hinge location .........160

6.2.2.2 Derivations of the internal energy equations for columns under

moderate to high axial loads (P 25%PDesign) .............................162

A. Maximum elastic rotation iElastic ............................................162

B. Critical rotation iCritical ...........................................................163

6.2.2.3 Derivations for the internal energy equation for columns under low

axial load levels (P < 25%PDesign) .................................................167

6.2.2.4 Reduced plastic moment capacity ...............................................169

6.2.3 The energy absorbed by the vehicle (IEv) ...............................................171

4

B. New proposal ............................................................................173

6.2.4 Derivations of the external work equation ..............................................176

6.2.5 General energy balance equation ............................................................177

6.2.6 Accounting for the strain hardening effects ............................................178

7.1 Introduction ................................................................................................ 181

7.2 Validation of the analytical method against rigid body impact ................ 182

7.2.1 Maximum column displacements ...........................................................182

7.2.2 Critical impact velocity-axial load interaction curves ............................185

7.2.3 Energy quantities ....................................................................................188

7.3 Validation of the analytical method against vehicle impact ...................... 193

7.3.1 Critical impact velocity- axial load interaction curves ...........................195

7.3.2 Energy quantities ....................................................................................199

7.3.3 Validation of the simplified analytical method against different values of K1

and Cmax ...................................................................................................201

7.3.4 Using alternative values for the maximum static transverse resistance of

steel columns ...........................................................................................203

7.5 Summary .................................................................................................... 207

for Steel Columns under Vehicle Impact

8.1 Introduction ................................................................................................ 209

8.2 The equivalent static force approach ......................................................... 209

8.3 The Dynamic impulse approach ......................................................................212

A. Using vehicle stiffness ...............................................................................213

B. Using column stiffness ...............................................................................213

8.3.1 A proposed modification............................................................................218

Research Studies

9.1 Introduction ................................................................................................ 222

9.2 Conclusions of this research .................................................................... 222

9.2.1 Numerical modelling of steel column behaviour under transverse impact

..............................................................................................................222

9.2.2 Behaviour and failure modes of steel columns under transverse impact 223

9.2.3 Simplified vehicle model .......................................................................224

5

transverse impact. ....................................................................................224

9.2.5 Assessment of current design methods in Eurocode 1 ...........................225

References ........................................................................................................ 228

Appendix A: Publications ................................................................................ 234

Total word count: 42712

List of Figures

Figure Contents

Page No.

Figure 1.1: Collision of a vehicle with a reinforced concrete support (left); Impact test

(right). Pictures from (Ghose, 2009) ............................................................................... 29

Figure 2.1: Collapse of a bridge after being struck by tractor-trailer (courtesy of NDOR)

(El-Tawil et al., 2005) ..................................................................................................... 33

Figure 2.2: An example of a severe impact involving a 16 ton crane (Courtesy of the

Manchester Evening News)(Ellis, 2003) ........................................................................ 34

Figure 2.3: Deformed lighting pole and vehicle after impact at 100 km/h. (Helsinki

University of Technology) (Klyavin et al., 2008) ........................................................... 34

Figure 2.4: Single degree of freedom SDOF model idealization for the derivation of Eq.

2.2 .................................................................................................................................... 37

Figure 2.5: Idealised impact pulse model (Eurocode1, 2006) ........................................ 38

Figure 2.6: Tensile tearing failure and transverse shear failure of clamped steel beams

under the impact of drop mass (Liu and Jones, 1987) (a): Transverse shear failure at the

impact point, (b)-(d): Tensile tearing failure at the impact ............................................. 42

Figure 2.7: View of the deformed specimens after impact (Zeinoddini et al., 2002) ..... 43

Figure 2.8: Buckling failure of impacted aluminium columns for different impact

velocities (Adachi et al., 2004) ....................................................................................... 43

Figure 2.9: Theoretical model of Bambach et al. (2008) ................................................ 46

Figure 2.10: Idealized system used by Shope (2006) with elasticperfectly plastic

material behaviour........................................................................................................... 47

Figure 2.11: Simplified force-deformation behaviour of a concrete column, with and

without strain rate effects (Tsang and Lam, 2008) ......................................................... 48

Figure 2.12: (A) A frontal collision test of a Honda Accord at a speed of 48.3 km/h;(B)

Force-time histories of full scale crash tests for different types of vehicle (from

(Thilakarathna et al., 2010). ............................................................................................ 50

Figure 2.13: Spring-mass system used by Emori (Emori, 1968). ................................... 51

Figure 2.14: Vehicle stiffness characteristics defined by Milner et al. (B. Milner et al.,

2001) ............................................................................................................................... 52

Figure 2.15: An example of a vehicle impact force-crush distance relationship ............ 53

Figure 3.1: The computational algorithm used in ABAQUS/Explicit. (Reproduced from

(SIMULIA, 2010d) )) ...................................................................................................... 59

Figure 3.2: Linear brick, shell and spring elements used in the present numerical

simulation using ABAQUS/Explicit (SIMULIA, 2010b). .............................................. 61

Figure 3.3: Meshing technique used over each thickness of a steel beam using linear

elements with reduced integration. ................................................................................. 61

Figure 3.4: Typical true plastic stress-true plastic strain relationship of steel, including

strain hardening and strain rate effects............................................................................ 63

Figure 3.5: Typical uniaxial stress-strain response of the steel with progressive damage

evolution up to failure. .................................................................................................... 65

Figure 3.6: Simulating impact force as a time dependant function force (SIMULIA,

2010d) ............................................................................................................................. 69

Figure 3.7: A contact pairs as master and slave surfaces(SIMULIA, 2010d)................. 70

Figure 3.8: Master surface penetrating into the slave surface of a pure master-slave

contact pair due to improper meshing (SIMULIA, 2010d)............................................. 70

Figure 3.9 Contact pressure-clearance relationship for hard contact (SIMULIA, 2010d)

......................................................................................................................................... 72

Figure 3.10: Smooth step amplitude curve used to define a quasi-static load (SIMULIA,

2010e).............................................................................................................................. 76

Figure 3.11: Energy histories for a quasi-static structural system (SIMULIA, 2010e) .. 77

Figure 3.12: Experimental set up of Zeinoddini et al. (2002) (top) and the numerical

model (bottom). ............................................................................................................... 79

Figure 3.13: Smooth amplitude functions used to apply the quasi-static load................ 81

Figure 3.14: Energy histories during the quasi-static load application, (P/Py) =0.5. ..... 81

Figure 3.15: Axial displacement the time history of the impacted steel tube for

different axial load levels. ............................................................................................... 82

Figure 3.16: (A) Comparison of the contact force; (B) Comparison of the deformation

shape for (P/Py)=0.6; for the tests of Zeinoddini et al (2002, Zeinoddini et al., 2008b) 82

Figure 3.17: Effects of damping on the contact force history of the steel tube with

(P/Py)=0.5 ....................................................................................................................... 83

Figure 3.18: Experimental specimen of 50SHS (Bambach et al., 2008) (top) and the

numerical model (bottom). .............................................................................................. 84

Figure 3.19: Deformation shape and tensile fracture at the supports at 20 ms after

impact. Top: experimental result (Bambach et al., 2008). Bottom: numerical simulation

......................................................................................................................................... 85

Figure 3.20: Ductile damage initiation profile history along the top surface of the beam

......................................................................................................................................... 86

Figure 3.21: Ductile damage initiation at the support and at the point of impact ........... 86

Figure 3.22: Numerical model and mesh size of the steel beam with a close-up view of

the mesh at the impact point. .......................................................................................... 87

Figure 3.23: True stress-true strain curve of steel plastic (Yu and Jones, 1991) ............ 88

Figure 3.24: Comparison of the displacement at the impact point of the steel beam SB07

between the experimental results (Yu and Jones, 1991) and the present numerical

simulation ........................................................................................................................ 89

Figure 3.25: Comparison of the deformation shape of the steel specimen SB08 after

shear failure between the experimental test (Yu and Jones, 1991) (top) and the

numerical simulation (bottom). ....................................................................................... 90

Figure 3.26: Comparison of axial strain of steel specimen SB08 on the lower surface

underneath the striker between the experimental results of Yu and Jones (1991) and the

present numerical simulation results ............................................................................... 91

8

Figure 3.27: Shear damage initiation profile at the top and bottom surfaces of the beam

of the steel specimen SB08 along its length ................................................................... 91

Figure 3.28: Stress-strain behaviour of a failed element at the impact zone showing

damage initiation and propagation of the element. ......................................................... 92

Figure 4.1: Meshing technique used for the steel column: A) Longitudinal direction; B)

Cross sectional direction for two steel column sections. ................................................ 96

Figure 4.2: Assumed true stress-strain curve used to simulate S355 material behaviour

in the parametric study. ................................................................................................... 97

Figure 4.3: Sensitivity of the column behaviour to the mesh size of (A) the flange; and

(B) the web, for a simply supported column section UC 305 305 118, P=50%PDesign,

Impacting mass=6 tonnes, V=40 km/h. .......................................................................... 99

Figure 4.4: Sensitivity of the column axial displacement history, V=40 km/h (A) and the

shear damage history at the impact point; V=60 km/h (B) for different mesh sizes,

column section UC 356 406 340, P=50%PDesign, Impacting mass=6 tonnes. ........... 100

Figure 4.5: Sensitivity of the column lateral displacement history at the impact point for

different mesh sizes, column section UC 305 305 118, P=50%PDesign, Impacting

mass=6 tonnes, V=40 km/h. .......................................................................................... 101

Figure 4.6: A close-up view of the element size of the steel column model adopted in

the parametric study ...................................................................................................... 101

Figure 4.7: Shape and dimensions of the impactor used in the parametric study ......... 102

Figure 4.8: Defining the master and slave surfaces in the numerical model ................ 103

Figure 4.9: Local flange distortion at the impact zone for the section UC305 305 118.

....................................................................................................................................... 106

Figure 4.10: Deformed shape history of the columns. (A): a simply supported section

UC 305 305 118, Impact location= 1.0 m, P/P Design =0.5, Impact mass =1 tonnes,

Impact velocity =80 km/h; (B): a simply supported section UC 305 305 118, Impact

location= 1.5 m, P/P Design =0.7, Impact mass =3 tonnes, Impact velocity =20 km/h; (C)

a propped cantilever section UC 305 305 118, Impact location= 1.5 m, P/P Design =0.7,

Impact mass =6 tonnes, Impact velocity =40 km/h ...................................................... 107

Figure 4.11: The axial displacement history for the columns in Fig. 4.10 ................... 108

Figure 4.12: The shear damage initiation criterion profile along the column length for a

simply supported column section UC 356 406 340, impact velocity = 80km/h ....... 108

Figure 4.13: The shear damage initiation criterion profile along the column length for a

simply supported column section UC305 305 118, impact velocity = 80km/h ........ 109

Figure 4.14: The shear damage initiation criterion profile along the column length for

propped cantilever columns and impact velocity = 80km/h; A) section

UC356 406 340; B) section UC305 305 118 ........................................................ 109

Figure 4.15: Behaviour of the simply supported column (section UC 305 305 118,

L=4m, impact location = 1m) under the same impact energy but with different

combinations of impactor mass and velocity. ............................................................... 110

Figure 4.16: Behaviour of the propped cantilever column (section UC 305 305 118,

L=4m, impact location = 1.5 m) under the same impact energy but with different

combinations of impactor mass and velocity ................................................................ 111

Figure 4.17: The kinetic energy history of the axially loaded simply supported steel

column (section UC 305 305 118, L=4 m, impact location =1m, P/PDesign=50%,

Impact energy = 117KJ). ............................................................................................... 112

Figure 4.18: Comparison of the total kinetic energy history of the columns without

failure, at the critical condition, with clear failures ...................................................... 113

Figure 4.19: Column mid-height deformation history under different impact speeds,

steel column height L=4 m, Impact mass= 1 tonnes, P/PDesign=50%, impact position

=1m, for a simply support column ................................................................................ 113

Figure 4.20: Energy histories corresponding to impact velocities of (A) 55km/h and (B)

50km/h. ......................................................................................................................... 114

Figure 4.21: Axial force - critical impact velocity interaction curves of the steel columns

used in the parametric study: (A) section UC 356 406 340, L=8 m, impact

mass=6tonnes, impact location =2m); (B) section UC 305 305 118, L=4 m, impact

mass=3tonnes, impact location =1.5m)......................................................................... 115

Figure 4.22: Effects of axial load level on the intermediate plastic hinge location (A): on

simply supported columns; (B): Propped cantilever columns. Impact mass =3 tonnes.

....................................................................................................................................... 116

Figure 4.23: Collapse shapes showing the intermediate plastic hinge location for

different axial load ratios of simply supported columns (a) L= 8 m, impact location =2

m, Mass =6 tonnes; (b) L= 8 m, impact location =1 m, Mass =3 Ton; (c) L= 4 m, impact

location =1.5 m, Mass =6 tonnes; (d) L= 4 m, impact location=1 m, Mass = 3 tonnes 117

Figure 4.24: Collapse shapes showing the intermediate plastic hinge location for

different axial load ratios of propped cantilever columns (a) L= 8 m, impact location =2

m, Mass = 6 tonnes; (b) L= 4 m, impact location =1.5 m, Mass =3 tonnes.................. 117

Figure 4.25: 30, 45 and 90 degrees of impact ............................................................... 118

Figure 4.26: Effect of impact direction on the critical impact velocity of a simply

supported column section UC 305 305 118, Impact location=1.5m, Impact mass 6

tonnes. ........................................................................................................................... 118

Figure 4.27: Effects of damping on the behaviour and failure of the impacted steel

column (section UC 356 406 340, L=8 m, impact location = 2 m, P/PDesign=70%),

(A): Axial displacement time history of the steel column; (B) Kinetic energy - time

history............................................................................................................................ 119

Figure 4.28: Kinetic energy and damping energy histories of the impacted steel columns

with the damping effect for the impacted steel column shown in Fig. 4.27. ....................... 120

Figure 4.29: Effect of strain hardening on critical impact velocity of the simply

supported steel column section (A) section UC 356 406 340, L=8m, impact

mass=6tonnes, impact location =2m); (B) section UC 305 305 118, L=4 m, impact

mass=6tonnes, impact location =1.5m)......................................................................... 121

10

Figure 4.30: Maximum strain rate values along column length, section UC 356 406

340, impact location 2m, impact velocity=90km/h, Impact mass=6 tonnes. ................ 122

Figure 5.1: Crumpling and deformation of a vehicle frontal structure after impact into a

steel column .................................................................................................................. 125

Figure 5.2: Simplified vehicle model using a spring-mass system ............................... 127

Figure 5.3: Force-deformation characteristics of the spring used to represent the frontal

impact behaviour of a Toyota Echo 2001. .................................................................... 129

Figure 5.4: Force-deformation relationship used to define the stiffness characteristics of

the nonlinear springs used to simulate the vehicles in Table 5.1 .................................. 129

Figure 5.5: Full-scale numerical model of a 1994 Chevrolet Pick-up C2500, based on

(NCAC, 2011) ............................................................................................................... 131

Figure 5.6: A comparison of the contact force history between the test (NHTSA, 2011),

the numerical simulation using a detailed FE vehicle model (NCAC, 2011) and the

numerical simulation using the reduced FE vehicle model of the present study. ......... 132

Figure 5.7: Impact force-displacement relationships for a Chevrolet C2500 Pick-up

vehicle impact on a rigid column of section size UC 305 305 118 at different impact

velocities. ...................................................................................................................... 134

Figure 5.8: A longitudinal cross section of the C2500 vehicle at different times of the

impact history showing the vehicle deformations before and after engine contact with a

rigid column of size UC 305 305 118 and the vehicle rebound thereafter, impact

velocity = 56kN/m. ....................................................................................................... 135

Figure 5.9: (A) Axial displacement and (B) contact force time histories of the C2500

vehicle impacting a rigid column of size UC 305 305 118 at an impact velocity equal

to 56km/h ...................................................................................................................... 136

Figure 5.10: Impact force - displacement relationships for a Chevrolet C2500 Pick-up

vehicle impacting on a rigid column of (A) section size UC 254 254 89, (B) section

size UC 356 368 202. ................................................................................................ 137

Figure 5.11: Proposed force - displacement relationship for the simplified spring-mass

model of a vehicle. ........................................................................................................ 138

Figure 5.12: Typical comparison of simulation results between the full-scale vehicle

model and the Simplified Vehicle Model (SVM) for impacts on a simply supported steel

column section UC 305 305 118 at different impact velocities. ............................... 139

Figure 5.13: Comparison of axial load critical velocity curves between the full scale

vehicle model and the simplified vehicle model using five values of vehicle frontal

stiffness (K1) for the simply supported steel column section UC 305 305 118

subjected to the transverse impact of a 1994 Chevrolet Pick-up vehicle. ..................... 141

Figure 5.14: The axial load ratio - critical velocity relationships of a simply supported

steel column section UC254 254 89.......................................................................... 142

Figure 5.15: The axial load ratio - critical velocity relationships of a simply supported

steel column section UC305 305 118........................................................................ 142

Figure 5.16: The axial load ratio - critical velocity relationships of a simply supported

steel column section UC356 368 202........................................................................ 143

11

Figure 5.17: The axial load ratio - critical velocity relationships of a propped cantilever

steel column section UC254 254 89.......................................................................... 143

Figure 5.18: The axial load ratio - critical velocity relationships of a propped cantilever

steel column section UC305 305 118........................................................................ 144

Figure 5.19: Energy histories corresponding to (A) case a an impact velocity of 15.6m/s

(B) case c at an impact velocity of 14.25m/s, both for the simply supported column

section UC305 305 118 ............................................................................................. 145

Figure 5.20: The axial load ratio - critical velocity relationships of a simply supported

column section UC305 305 118, additional weight =1tonnes. ................................. 147

Figure 5.21: The axial load ratio - critical velocity relationships of a simply supported

column section UC305 305 118, additional weight = 1.5 1tonnes. .......................... 147

Figure 5.22: Deformation shape of the C2500 vehicle after a steel column impact for

low axial load ratios ...................................................................................................... 148

Figure 5.23: Damage profile of the C2500 vehicle after a frontal impact in the central

region on a column ........................................................................................................ 150

Figure 5.24: Simplified damage profile of a vehicle after frontal impact in the central

region on a column ........................................................................................................ 150

Figure 6.1: The column model used in the simplified analysis. A: Elastic phase, B:

Plastic phase. ................................................................................................................. 158

Figure 6.2: The assumed elastic-perfectly plastic moment-rotation ( M ) relationship

for the column. .............................................................................................................. 158

Figure 6.3: Effect of the impact location on plastic hinge location of the transversely

impacted column (Adachi et al., 2004) ......................................................................... 161

Figure 6.4: Collapse shape of columns showing the locations of the plastic hinge: (A)

L=4m, axial load ratio (P/PDesign ) = 50%, (B) L=8m, axial load ratio (P/PDesign ) = 70%

....................................................................................................................................... 162

Figure 6.5: Fpl-W relationship ....................................................................................... 164

Figure 6.6: The time history of the energy quantities of impacted simply supported steel

columns under a low level of axial compressive load (P=10%PDesign), (A): L=8m, (B):

L=4m ............................................................................................................................. 168

Figure 6.7: Determination of the maximum vehicle deformation at column global

failure: A) energy absorbed by the vehicle; B) energy absorbed by the column. ......... 172

Figure 6.8: The transverse load - transverse deflection relationship of a simply

supported steel column according to the proposed equations. ...................................... 175

Figure 6.9: Idealised material behaviour of steel used to account for the strain hardening

effect .............................................................................................................................. 179

Figure 7.1: Comparison between analytical and ABAQUS predictions of column

maximum displacements at different levels of axial force for the simply supported

column UC 305 305 118, L=4, Impact mass = 3tonnes: (A) transverse displacement;

(B) axial displacement................................................................................................... 183

Figure 7.2: Comparison between analytical and ABAQUS predictions of column

maximum displacements at different levels of axial force for the propped cantilever

12

column UC 305 305 118, L=4, Impact mass = 3tonnes: (A) transverse displacement;

(B) axial displacement................................................................................................... 184

Figure 7.3: Comparison between analytical and ABAQUS predictions of column

maximum transverse displacements at different levels of axial force for the simply

supported column UC 356 406 340, L=8m, (A) Impact mass = 3tonnes; (B) Impact

mass = 6tonnes .............................................................................................................. 185

Figure 7.4: Comparison between analytical and ABAQUS predictions of critical impact

velocity - axial force curve at different levels of axial force for column UC

305 305 118, L=4, Impact mass = 3tonnes: (A) Simply supported column; (B) Propped

cantilever ....................................................................................................................... 186

Figure 7.5: Comparison between analytical and ABAQUS predictions of critical impact

velocity - axial force curve at different levels of axial force for simply supported UC

356 406 340, L=8m, Impact mass = 3tonnes ............................................................ 186

Figure 7.6: Comparison between analytical and ABAQUS predictions of critical impact

velocity - axial force curve at different levels of axial force for a simply supported

column at impact mass = 6tonnes: (A) UC 305 305 118, L=4; (B) UC

356 406 340, L=8m ................................................................................................... 187

Figure 7.7: Deformation shapes of two simply supported steel columns, (cf Fig. 7.5,

section UC 356 406 340, L=8m, impact mass = 3tonness, Impact location=1m) .... 188

Figure 7.8: Comparison between analytical and ABAQUS results for external work and

plastic dissipation energy for simply supported columns, (UC 305 305 118, L=4m,

impact mass= 3tonnes, different impact locations); cf. Fig. 7.4(A) for axial load

critical velocity relationships ........................................................................................ 189

Figure 7.9: Comparison between analytical and ABAQUS results for external work and

plastic dissipation energy for a propped cantilever column (UC 305 305 118, L=4m,

impact mass =3 tonnes, different impact locations) cf. Fig. 7.4(B) for axial load - critical

velocity relationships .................................................................................................... 191

Figure 7.10: Comparison between analytical and ABAQUS results for external work

and plastic dissipation energy for a simply supported column (UC 356 406 340,

L=8m, impact mass = 3 tonnes, different impact locations), cf. Fig. 7.5 for axial load critical velocity relationships ........................................................................................ 192

Figure 7.11: Numerical simulations results for the transverse force - transverse

displacement relationship of a simply supported column UC 305305118 under

different axial load ratios. ............................................................................................. 193

Figure 7.12: Comparison between analytical and ABAQUS predictions of critical

impact velocity - axial force curve at different levels of axial force for the steel column

section UC 25425489: (A) simply supported column (B) propped cantilever column.

....................................................................................................................................... 195

Figure 7.13: Comparison between analytical and ABAQUS predictions of critical

impact velocity - axial force curve at different levels of axial force for the steel column

section UC 305305118: (A) simply supported column; (B) propped cantilever

column. .......................................................................................................................... 196

13

impact velocity - axial force curve at different levels of axial force for the simply

supported steel column section UC 356368202. ...................................................... 196

Figure 7.15: Comparison between analytical and ABAQUS results for energy absorbed

by vehicle for the steel column section UC 305305118: (A) simply supported

column; (B) Propped cantilever column. ...................................................................... 197

Figure 7.16: Comparison between analytical and ABAQUS results for energy absorbed

by vehicle for the steel column section UC 25425489: (A) simply supported column;

(B) Propped cantilever column. .................................................................................... 197

Figure 7.17: Comparison between analytical and ABAQUS results for axial and

transverse displacements of the steel column section UC 305305118: (A) simply

supported column; (B) propped cantilever. ................................................................... 198

Figure 7.18: Comparison between analytical and ABAQUS results for axial and

transverse displacements of the steel column section UC 25425489: (A) simply

supported column; (B) propped cantilever.................................................................... 199

Figure 7.19: Comparison of energy components for vehicle impact on (A) Steel column

section UC 305305118; (B) Steel column section UC 25425489 ....................... 200

Figure7.20: Values of vehicle stiffness and vehicle maximum crush distance used in the

validation study ............................................................................................................. 201

Figure 7.21: Simply supported column section UC 305305118: (A) using three

values of vehicle stiffness, and (B) using three values of vehicle crush distance. ........ 202

Figure 7.22: Simply supported column section UC 25425489: (A) using three values

of vehicle stiffness, and (B) using three values of vehicle crush distance. ................... 203

Figure 7.23: Comparison of the maximum transverse resistance of the steel column

between the numerical simulation using ABAQUS, the proposed equation (Eq. 6.45)

and EC3 (Eq. 6.37): (A) steel column section UC 25425489; (B) steel column section

UC 305305118; (C) steel column section UC 356368202 .................................. 204

Figure7.24: Comparison between using ABAQUS, EC3 and the proposed equation to

predict the critical impact velocity - axial force curve at different levels of axial force

for the steel column section UC 305305118. ........................................................... 205

Figure 7.25: Comparison between using ABAQUS, EC3 and the proposed equation to

predict the critical impact velocity - axial force curve at different levels of axial force

for the steel column section UC 25425489. ............................................................. 206

Figure 7.26: The effect of strain hardening on the critical impact velocity of simply

supported steel columns subjected to transverse rigid impact: (A) section UC

305305118, L=4 m, impact mass = 6 tonnes, impact location =2m; (B) ection

UC356406340, L=8m, impact mass = 6 tonnes, impact location =2m.. .................. 207

Figure 8.1: Area of application of the equivalent lateral static load according to EN

1991-1-7 (Eurocode1, 2006) ......................................................................................... 211

Figure 8.2: Comparison of equivalent static forces between this research and EN 19911-7 design values. .......................................................................................................... 211

14

Figure 8.3: Comparison of column elastic stiffness between using Eq. 8.1 and ABAQUS

simulation results for the simply supported steel column UC 305 305 118 ............. 214

Figure 8.4: Comparison of idealised impact impulses by using only the vehicle stiffness

or the column stiffness for column size UC 305 305 118 under impact by a Chevrolet

1994 Pick-up. ................................................................................................................ 215

Figure 8.5: Comparison of critical impact velocity-axial load curves between using dynamic

impulse simulation (EC1) and vehicle simulation for steel column section UC 305305118:

(A) simply supported column; (B) propped cantilever column ............................................ 216

Figure 8.6: Comparison of critical impact velocity-axial load curves between using dynamic

impulse simulation (EC1) and vehicle simulation for steel column section UC 25425489: (A)

simply supported column; (B) propped cantilever column. ................................................. 217

Figure 8.7: Comparison of the equivalent impact force - impact velocity curves between

using column stiffness only, vehicle stiffness only and combined stiffness for a simply

supported steel column section UC 305305118. ...................................................... 219

15

List of Tables

Table Contents

Page No.

Table 2.1: Indicative equivalent static design forces due to vehicular impact on

members supporting structures over, or adjacent to, roadways, (Eurocode1, 2006) ...... 36

Table 2.2: Indicative equivalent static design forces due to impact on superstructures

(Eurocode1, 2006) ........................................................................................................... 36

Table 2.3: Generic stiffness coefficients A and B to be used in Campbells equation

(Siddall and Day, 1996) .................................................................................................. 54

Table 3.1: Cowper-Symonds equation parameters for common structural materials

(Jones, 1997) ................................................................................................................... 64

Table 3.2: Mass proportional damping factors ( ) ........................................................ 83

Table 3.3: Material properties for C350 used in the numerical simulation (Bambach et

al., 2008).......................................................................................................................... 84

Table 3.4: Material failure parameters used in the present numerical model ................. 85

Table 3.5: Comparison of contact force between the experimental results and the

numerical simulation ....................................................................................................... 85

Table 3.6: Technical details of the impact test (Yu and Jones, 1991) ............................ 87

Table 3.7: Material failure parameters used in the present numerical model ................. 89

Table 3.8: Comparison of the maximum transverse displacement of the steel specimen

SB08 between the results from the present numerical simulation with the experimental

results, (Yu and Jones, 1991) and the numerical simulation results, (Yu and Jones,

1997) ............................................................................................................................... 90

Table 4.1: Steel column properties used in the parametric study ................................... 95

Table 4.2: Material shear failure parameters for S355 steel used in the parametric study

......................................................................................................................................... 97

Table 4.3: Sensitivity of some static and dynamic results against the element size of the

simply supported column model ..................................................................................... 98

Table 4.4: Parameters used in the numerical parametric study..................................... 103

Table 4.5: Failure modes for a simply supported column section UC 356 406 340 . 104

Table 4.6: Failure modes for a propped cantilever column section UC 356 406 340

....................................................................................................................................... 104

Table 4.7: Failure modes for a simply supported column section UC 305 305 118 . 105

Table 4.8: Failure modes for a propped cantilever column section UC 305 305 118

....................................................................................................................................... 105

Table 5.1: Comparison of the maximum impact forces ................................................ 130

Table 5.2: Steel column properties used in the numerical simulations ......................... 133

Table 5.3: K1 and K2 values for the Chevrolet C2500 Pick-up vehicle ........................ 138

Table 5.4: Sensitivity of simply supported steel column behaviour (UC 305 305 118)

to stiffness parameters K1 and K2,. ................................................................................ 140

16

Table 5.5: Energy partition for different vehicle models impacting on a simply

supported steel column section UC 305 305 118 under an axial load ratio of

0.5PDesign; (a) full-scale model; (b) spring with finite stiffness K1 and K2 ; (c) spring

with finite stiffness K1 and infinite stiffness K2 (rigid), (d) rigid impactor. ................ 145

Table 5.6: A comparison between calculated and numerically extracted linear stiffness

for a Chevrolet 2500 Pick-up ........................................................................................ 153

Table 6.1: Internal energy equation of the steel column for three boundary conditions

....................................................................................................................................... 167

Table 6.2: Axial force-bending moment interaction equations for common structural

steel sections.................................................................................................................. 170

Table 6.3: Values of for different cross sectional shapes (Duan and Chen, 1990). . 171

Table 6.4: Elastic transverse load the transverse deflection equations of the steel

column for three types of boundary condition .............................................................. 174

Table 7.1: Properties of the columns used to validate the simplified analytical method

....................................................................................................................................... 182

Table 7.2: The calculated values of vehicle maximum deformation as compared with the

numerical simulation results for a steel column section UC 305305118, K1=510kN/m

....................................................................................................................................... 194

Table 7.3: The calculated values of vehicle maximum deformation as compared with the

numerical simulation results for a steel column section UC 25425489, K1=463kN/m

....................................................................................................................................... 194

Table 7.4: The calculated values of vehicle maximum deformation as compared with the

numerical simulation results for a steel column section UC 356368202, K1=546kN/m

....................................................................................................................................... 194

Table 8.1: Steel column properties used in the numerical simulations ......................... 210

Table 8.2: Comparison of axial load ratios between using Eurocode 1 and ABAQUS

equivalent static lateral loads ........................................................................................ 212

17

Aw

Af

A

bf

B

b1 and b0

The flange area

A stiffness coefficient of the vehicle

The width of the box and H sections

A stiffness coefficients of the vehicle

Experimental parameters used to calculate vehicle stiffness coefficients A

and B

C

Cmax

c

cc

The maximum deformation of the vehicle

The damping constant of the system

The critical damping value

cd

E

EI

ETOTAL

FD

F

hw

hc

I

The flexural stiffness of the column section

The total conserved energy of the system

The frictional dissipation energy of the system

The equivalent design horizontal characteristic force used in Eqs. 2.1 and

2.2

The maximum transverse static force resistance of the steel column at the

impact location

The equivalent quasi-static transverse force for the elastic phase of column

response

The equivalent quasi-static transverse force for the plastic phase of column

response

The yield strength of the steel material

The elements externally applied forces at the start of the current time step

(t)

The depth of the box and H sections

The width of the column perpendicular to the direction of impact

The moment of inertial about the axis under consideration.

It

IE

IEcol

IEv

The energy absorbed by column deformations

The energy absorbed by vehicle deformations

Fmax

Fel

Fpl

Fy

F(t)

18

K

The stiffness matrices of the structural system

KE

The residual kinetic energy of impact

K1 and K2 The slopes (stiffness) for the first and second stage of the proposed bilinear

spring impact force - deformation relationships

k

The effective length factor of the column depending on its supporting

condition

ke

The equivalent elastic stiffness of the object for the case of hard impact and

that of the impacted structure for the case of soft impact

kcol.

The lateral stiffness of the steel column under axial load

An interaction factor to take account of the secondary bending moment due to an

kzz

axial compression force acting on the column lateral deformation (defined in

section 6.3.1of Eurocode 3)

L

Lc

The characteristic length of the element

Le

M

Mi

The elastic bending moment capacities of the column section at the plastic

hinge (i).

Mx

Mz

M

MT

MP

Mpz

The elastic bending moment of the column at section (x) along its

longitudinal axis

The design values of the maximum moment about the weak axis (z-z axis)

The nodal mass matrix of the structural system

The total mass of the structural system

The plastic moment capacity of the columns section

The full plastic moment capacity of the column cross-section about the

weak axis (z-z axis)

MPRi

The reduced plastic moment capacity of the columns section at the plastic hinge

(i)

mechanism

A material parameter used in the Cowper-Symonds equation

n

NRk

P

PY

Pw

Pcr

PD

The full axial yield load (squash load) of the columns section

The full yield force of the section web

The Euler buckling load for columns

The plastic strain energy of the system

PDesign

R1

r2 and r1

The outer and inner radii of the hollow circular section respectively

19

SE

tw

tf

u

The web thickness for H-sections

The flange thickness of the box and H sections.

pl

u f pl

vr

V

Vcr

VD

The velocity of the vehicle normal to the impacted structure used in Eqs. 2.1

and 2.2

The standard vehicle impact velocity used in crash barrier tests

The critical impact velocity of the impacting body

The viscous dissipation energy of the system

max

w(x)

wv

W

Wv

Wel

A variable over the width of the vehicle

The amplitude of the deformation shape

The total width of the vehicle

The maximum column deflections to enable the bending moment in the

column to reach the plastic bending moment capacity

The maximum displacement at which collapse occurs due to the combined

effect of plastic mechanism and axial compressive force

The work done by the external forces

The distance along the longitudinal axis of the column measured from the

column base

Wcr

WK

x

x

The position of the load application measured from the column base.

iElastic

iCritical

The maximum elastic rotation of the column at the point of plastic hinge

formation at the plastic hinge (i)

The maximum rotation of the plastic hinge when plastic failure mechanism

occurs at the plastic hinge (i)

A quantity in the equation of first mode of bucking shape of the propped

cantilever column defined by ( =

1.4318

)

L

The reduction factor for the compression due to flexural buckling about the weak

axis (defined in section 6.3.1of Eurocode 3)

20

The duration of the equivalent rectangular impulse of vehicle impact

t

pl

pl

S pl

f pl

axial

(t )

pl

The mass and stiffness proportional Rayleigh damping factors respectively

and

m

The material density

21

Abstract

Behaviour And Design Of Steel Columns Subjected To Vehicle Impact

Haitham Ali Bady Al-Thairy, 2012

For the degree of PhD/ Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

The University of Manchester

Columns are critical elements of any structure and their failure can lead to the

catastrophic consequences of progressive failure. In structural design, procedures to

design structures to resist conventional loads are well established. But design for

accidental loading conditions is increasingly requested by clients and occupants in

modern engineering designs. Among many accidental causes that induce column failure,

impact (e.g. vehicular impact, ship impact, crane impact, impact by flying debris after

an explosion) has rarely been considered in the modern engineering designs of civil

engineering structures such as buildings and bridges. Therefore, most of the design

requirements for structural members under vehicle impact as suggested by the current

standards and codes such as Eurocode 1 are based on simple equations or procedures

that make gross assumptions and they may be highly inaccurate. This research aims to

develop more accurate methods of assessing steel column behaviour under vehicle

impact.

The first main objective of this study is to numerically simulate the dynamic impact

response of axially loaded steel columns under vehicle impact, including the prediction

of failure modes, using the finite element method. To achieve this goal, a numerical

model has been proposed and validated to simulate the behaviour and failure modes of

axially loaded steel columns under rigid body impact using the commercial finite

element code ABAQUS/Explicit. Afterwards, an extensive parametric study was

conducted to provide a comprehensive database of results covering different impact

masses, impact velocities and impact locations in addition to different column boundary

conditions, axial load ratios and section sizes. The parametric study results show that

global buckling is the predominant failure mode of axially unrestrained compressed

steel columns under transverse impact. The parametric study results have also revealed

that column failure was mainly dependent on the value of the kinetic energy of impact.

The parametric study has also shown that strain rate has a minor effect on the behaviour

and failure of steel columns under low to medium velocity impact. The parametric study

results have been used to develop an understanding of the detailed behaviour of steel

columns under transverse impact in order to inform the assumptions of the proposed

analytical method.

22

To account for the effect of vehicle impact on the behaviour of steel columns, a

simplified numerical vehicle model was developed and validated in this study using a

spring mass system. In this spring mass system, the spring represents the stiffness

characteristics of the vehicle. The vehicle stiffness characteristics can be assumed to be

bilinear, with the first part representing the vehicle deformation behaviour up to the

engine box and the second part representing the stiffness of the engine box, which is

almost rigid.

The second main objective of this research is to develop a simplified analytical

approach that can be used to predict the critical velocity of impact on steel columns. The

proposed method utilizes the energy balance principle with a quasi-static approximation

of the steel column response and assumes global plastic buckling as the main failure

mode of the impacted column. The validation results show very good agreement

between the analytical method results and the ABAQUS simulation results with the

analytical results tending to be on the safe side.

A detailed assessment of the design requirements suggested by Eurocode 1, regarding

the design of steel columns to resist vehicle impact, has shown that the equivalent static

design force approach can be used in the design of moderately sized columns that are

typically used in low multi-storey buildings (less than 10 storeys). For bigger columns,

it is unsafe to use the Eurocode 1 equivalent static forces. It is acceptable to use a

dynamic impulse in a dynamic analysis to represent the dynamic action of vehicle

impact on columns, but it is important that both the column and vehicle stiffness values

should be included when calculating the equivalent impulse force time relationship. It

is also necessary to consider the two stage behaviour of the impacting vehicle, before

and after the column is in contact with the vehicle engine. A method has been developed

to implement these changes.

23

Declaration

No portion of the work referred to in the thesis has been submitted in support of

an application for another degree or qualification of this or any other university

or other institute of learning.

24

Copyright Statement

i. The author of this thesis (including any appendices and/or schedules to this thesis)

owns certain copyright or related rights in it (the Copyright) and he has given The

University of Manchester certain rights to use such Copyright, including for

administrative purposes.

ii. Copies of this thesis, either in full or in extracts and whether in hard or electronic

copy, may be made only in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act

1988 (as amended) and regulations issued under it or, where appropriate, in accordance

with licensing agreements which the University has from time to time. This page must

form part of any such copies made.

iii. The ownership of certain Copyright, patents, designs, trade marks and other

intellectual property (the Intellectual Property) and any reproductions of copyright

works in the thesis, for example graphs and tables (Reproductions), which may be

described in this thesis, may not be owned by the author and may be owned by third

parties. Such Intellectual Property and Reproductions cannot and must not be made

available for use without the prior written permission of the owner(s) of the relevant

Intellectual Property and/or Reproductions.

iv. Further information on the conditions under which disclosure, publication and

commercialisation of this thesis, the Copyright and any Intellectual Property and/or

Reproductions described in it may take place is available in the University IP Policy

(see http://www.campus.manchester.ac.uk/medialibrary/policies/intellectualproperty.pdf

), in any relevant Thesis restriction declarations deposited in the University Library, The

University Librarys regulations (see http ://www.manchester.ac.uk/library/aboutus/

regulations) and in The Universitys policy on presentation of Theses.

25

Dedication

To the spirit of my father who has given me all the support I need to be what I wanted to

be and who has been the source of inspiration to me throughout my life;

To my mother for her love and her prayers for me during my life;

To my wife for her personal support, encouragement and great patience during the

research period;

Finally, to my beloved children, Tiba and Ahmed, who are the glow of my life;

26

Acknowledgements

First and foremost, I would like to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude to my

supervisor, Professor Yong C. Wang for his valuable guidance, continuous support and

encouragement throughout my PhD research, not to mention his advice and unsurpassed

knowledge.

I would like to acknowledge the financial support given by the Iraqi Ministry of Higher

Education and Scientific Research. The efforts given by the Iraqi embassy/cultural

attach to assist with the financial and administration issues of my scholarship are really

appreciated.

Many thanks also go to the IT services team and the postgraduate admission staff of the

School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering and the library staff of the

University of Manchester for giving me all the help I needed during my PhD research.

I would like to thank Mr. Gerrard Barningham from SIMULIA support office for his

great help in solving some technical problems regarding the full scale numerical vehicle

model used in some of the numerical simulations of this study.

I offer my regards and blessings to my friends and colleagues in the research group who

supported me in all respects during my PhD research.

27

Chapter One

Introduction

1.1.

Columns are critical elements of any infrastructure and their failure can lead to the

catastrophic consequences of progressive failure. In structural design, procedures to

design structures to resist conventional loads (e.g. self weight, wind, normal imposed

loads) are well established. But design for accidental loading conditions is increasingly

requested by clients and occupants in modern engineering designs. Among many

accidental causes that induce columns failure, impact (e.g. vehicular impact, ship

impact, crane impact, impact by flying debris after an explosion) has rarely been

considered in the modern engineering designs for civil engineering structures such as

buildings and bridges.

Underground and multi-storey car parks columns, ground floor columns in buildings

located along busy roads and bridge pairs are highly vulnerable to impact loads due to

moving vehicles (see Fig. 1.1). The failure of these supporting structures, as a result of

impact, may lead to progressive collapse. Therefore, a proper analysis technique is

required. This analysis technique should be suitable for routine structural design so that

this mode of failure can be dealt with by a majority of engineers. Despite extensive past

research on structural behaviour under impact, the behaviour of columns under extreme

loading conditions is still not well understood.

28

Figure 1.1: Collision of a vehicle with a reinforced concrete support (left); Impact test (right).

Pictures from (Ghose, 2009)

A number of industry standards and codes currently address the effects of vehicle

impacts on buildings in their specifications. However, their guidance is rather

rudimentary, treating a transverse impact as an equivalent static force on the structure as

in EN 1991-1-1 (Eurocode1, 2002), EN 1991-1-7 (Eurocode1, 2006), EN 1991-2

(Eurocode1, 2003) and ACI Committee 358 (ACI, 1992) or as an approximate dynamic

impulse as in Annex C of Eurocode 1(Eurocode1, 2006). These rudimentary procedures

are based on gross simplifications. Because of the varying nature of structures and

impacting vehicles, it is highly unlikely that these assumptions and the existing design

approaches are suitable.

Motivated by the above statement, this research will assess the accuracy of current

design methods and will develop more accurate methods of dealing with column

behaviour under vehicle impact. The first main goal of this study is to numerically

simulate the dynamic impact response of axially loaded steel columns under vehicle

impact, including the prediction of failure modes, using the finite element method. The

effects of different geometrical and material parameters on column behaviour under

such a dynamic load will be considered in an extensive parametric study. The purpose

of this part of the study is to gain a thorough understanding of how steel columns

respond to transverse impact loads.

Although the finite element method can provide a powerful and efficient approach for

modelling column behaviour and failure modes, its employment requires significant

effort and expertise. This is particularly true if nonlinear dynamic analysis, material

29

nonlinearity and strain rate dependence are included. Furthermore, in many situations,

obtaining finite element solutions requires a considerable amount of computation time

which prevents its use during routine design. Therefore, the second main goal of this

research is to develop a simplified analytical or semi-analytical approach that can be

used to predict the critical impact velocity of vehicle impact on axially loaded steel

columns. This proposed method will utilize the energy balance approach assuming

quasi-static behaviour for the impacted steel column. Based on the aforementioned two

goals, the detailed objectives are as follows:

1. To suggest and validate a numerical model for simulating axially loaded steel

columns subjected to transverse impact using the commercial finite element

code ABAQUS/Explicit. The validation should be based on a comparison

between the proposed simulation model and relevant experiments;

2. To conduct extensive parametric study to provide a comprehensive database of

results covering different impact masses, impact velocities and impact locations

in addition to different column boundary conditions, axial load ratios and section

sizes. The numerical simulation results will also be used to develop an

understanding of the detailed behaviour of steel columns under transverse

impact in order to inform the assumptions of the proposed analytical method;

3. To develop a simplified numerical vehicle model which can be used to simulate

the effects of vehicle impact on steel columns by using the commercial finite

element code ABAQUS/Explicit without having to use a full scale numerical

vehicle model;

4. To develop and validate a simplified analytical method for predicting the critical

impact velocities of vehicle impact on axially compressed steel columns.

5. To use the numerical simulation results to assess the accuracy of the current

Eurocode 1 design methods.

1.3.

This thesis presents the detailed results of the authors work over a three year PhD

research programme which was aimed at achieving the objectives of the research. It

includes a detailed literature review of the different aspects of the research project, a

30

development of the analytical approach. The thesis is divided into the following nine

chapters.

Chapter one: Presents an introduction of the research problem with a statement of the

objectives and aims of the research.

Chapter two: Reviews the previous studies relevant to the research problem in addition

to the approaches suggested in the current design codes of practice. The main focus of

this chapter is to present and discuss the previous research studies in this field so as to

identify gaps in knowledge in order to justify the originality of this research and to

formulate an appropriate research methodology for this research.

Chapter three: Presents a detailed description of the techniques used in numerical

simulations to model the transverse impact problem of axially compressed columns

using the finite element code ABAQUS/Explicit. It will also describe the geometrical,

material, and loading application parameters used in the numerical model. The chapter

will present the numerical simulations of relevant tests and compare the numerical

simulation results against tests results.

Chapter four: Presents the parametric study conducted based on the numerical model

validated in chapter three to investigate the effects of several parameters on the response

of axially loaded steel columns. The chapter discusses the parametric study results and

ends up with important conclusions, based on which simplifying assumptions on

column behaviour under impact can be made to develop appropriate design calculation

methods.

Chapter five: Presents and validates a simplified numerical vehicle model that can be

used to simulate the effects of vehicle frontal impact on steel columns. The simplified

numerical vehicle model treats the vehicle as a spring-mass system. The chapter also

presents the derivations and validation of a simplified equation to predict the equivalent

linear stiffness of a vehicle that can be used in the simplified analytical model.

31

Chapter six: Presents the development of a simplified analytical method to predict the

critical velocities of transverse impact on steel columns under axial load. This method is

based on an energy balance assuming a quasi-static approximation of column

behaviour.

Chapter seven: Validates the accuracy of the proposed simplified analytical method

presented in chapter six by comparison against numerical simulation results using

ABAQUS/Explicit.

Chapter eight: Evaluates the accuracy of the design requirements suggested by the

current Eurocode 1, based on the numerical simulation results.

Chapter nine: Presents the main findings and conclusions of the research with

suggestions for future research work.

32

Chapter Two

Literature Review

2.1.

Civil engineering structures are frequently being subjected to various types of transverse

dynamic impact loads. The following impact events may cause significant damage to

structures and they should be included in the structural design of structural members

that are prone to such events.

1. Transverse impact caused by ships or vehicles on bridge piers (El-Tawil et al., 2005,

Sharma et al., 2012), see Fig. 2.1;

2. Transverse impact caused by travelling vehicles on buildings situated near busy roads

(Ellis, 2003), see Fig. 2.2;

3. Transverse impact caused by travelling vehicles on traffic light or lighting poles

(Elmarakbi et al., 2006, Klyavin et al., 2008), (see Fig. 2.3) and on road safety barriers

(Jiang et al., 2004).

4. Transverse impact caused by moving vehicles on ground floor columns of multistorey car parks (Ferrer et al., 2010),

5. Transverse impact caused by aeroplanes on multi-storey buildings or skyscrapers.

Figure 2.1: Collapse of a bridge after being struck by tractor-trailer (courtesy of NDOR) (ElTawil et al., 2005)

33

Figure 2.2: An example of a severe impact involving a 16 ton crane (Courtesy of the

Manchester Evening News)(Ellis, 2003)

Figure 2.3: Deformed lighting pole and vehicle after impact at 100 km/h. (Helsinki University

of Technology) (Klyavin et al., 2008)

In most cases, the effect of transverse impact caused by a vehicle is usually combined

with the effects of the axial compressive load transmitted to the column/wall from the

storeys above. The effect of an axial compressive load further complicates the impact

problem because, on the one hand, it reduces the column stiffness and resistance and, on

the other hand, it increases the geometrical and dynamic instabilities of the impacted

column.

The transverse impact problem of structural members has been the subject of attention

and investigation by a number of researchers during past decades. Different methods

and approaches have been developed to investigate the behaviour and failure of these

members under impact. In each approach, several assumptions have to be made in the

analysis procedure according to the geometry of, and type of material used in, the

34

structure under consideration; the dynamic characteristics of the impacting body (impact

velocity, impact duration, impact mass); the deformations expected to develop during

the short period of the impact event; and the failure mode which either involves local

failure or the geometrical instability of the whole structural member. However, as will

be discerned from the following literature review, research on this specific topic is still

rudimentary and lacks sufficient depth and detail to inform the design process.

It is the aim of this chapter to present and discuss previous research studies relating to

the above mentioned impact problem in order to assist in gaining a clearer

understanding of the behaviour and failure modes of axially loaded steel columns under

vehicle impact. The discussions will focus on the main assumptions used in these

studies and the main findings reached, and how they can be incorporated in the

methodology used in the present study.

2.2.

guidance on how to address the effects of vehicle impact on buildings (Eurocode1,

2002, Eurocode1, 2006, ACI, 1992) and bridge structures (Eurocode1, 2003, Highways

Agency, 2004, AASHTO, 2007) by treating the transverse impact as an equivalent static

force on the structure. For example, the informative Annex B of Eurocode1: Part1-1

(Eurocode1, 2002) suggests the following simple and general equation, to calculate the

design horizontal characteristic force on barriers in car parks to withstand the impact of

a vehicle:

F=

M .v 2 r

................................................................................................................................... 2.1

2( c + b )

Where M is the total mass of the vehicle, vr is velocity of the vehicle normal to the

impacted structure, c is deformation of the vehicle, b is the deformation of the

impacted structure.

Conceptually, this equation (Eq. 2.1) is easily derived based on conservation of energy

in the system before and after the impact, but it assumes plastic force-displacement

response for both the barrier and the impacting vehicle. The impact energy of the

vehicle (0.5Mv2r) is assumed to be entirely absorbed by the plastic deformation of the

vehicle ( c ) and the structure ( b ) which have a force (F) at the interface between the

35

two. According to this Annex, the maximum impact velocity at which the equation is

valid is 4.5m/s (16.2km/h) and the maximum vehicle deformation is 100mm

(Eurocode1, 2002).

Sections 4.3 and 4.4 of Eurocode1: Part1-7 (Eurocode1, 2006) define the accidental

action due to impact from vehicles and forklift trucks respectively. Section 4.3

recommends that impact may be represented by an equivalent static force giving the

equivalent dynamic action effects on the structures. The design values of the equivalent

static force are given in two tables as constant values corresponding to each category of

traffic. Each table represents a particular kind of structure, namely supporting-structures

and super-structures, see Table 2.1 and Table 2.2. In both tables, the effects of vehicle

mass, vehicle velocity and vehicle stiffness characteristics, in addition to those of the

impacted structure are all ignored.

Table 2.1: Indicative equivalent static design forces due to vehicular impact on members

supporting structures over, or adjacent to, roadways, (Eurocode1, 2006)

Category of traffic

Motorways and country national and

main roads

Country roads in rural area

Roads in urban area

Courtyards and parking garages with

access to:

- Cars

- Lorriesb

Force Fadx

(kN)

1000*

Force Fady

(kN)

500

700

500

375

250

50

150

25

75

The term lorry refers to vehicles with a maximum gross weight greater than 3.5

tonnes.

Table 2.2: Indicative equivalent static design forces due to impact on superstructures

(Eurocode1, 2006)

Category of traffic

main roads

Country roads in rural area

Roads in urban area

Courtyards and parking garages

a

x = direction of normal travel

36

Equivalent static

design force Fadx

(kN)

500

375

250

75

provides guidance on how to approximate the dynamic design action of structures

subject to accidental impact by road vehicles. This Annex distinguishes between hard

impact, under which the impact energy is mainly dissipated by the impacting body, and

the soft impact where the structure is designed to deform in order to absorb the impact

energy (Eurocode1, 2006). The maximum impact force is derived by simply equating

the initial kinetic energy of the impacting vehicle to either the strain energy of the

vehicle itself in the case of hard impact, or the strain energy of the impacted structure in

the case of soft impact, to give the following equation.

F = vr ke .M ..................................................................................................................................... 2.2

Where: vr is the vehicle velocity at impact; ke is the equivalent elastic stiffness of the

vehicle in the case of hard impact and that of the impacted structure in the case of soft

impact; M is the mass of the impacting vehicle.

It is evident that Eq. 2.2 is based on a simple elastic single degree of freedom

idealization of the problem assuming that one of the impacting bodies is rigid and

immovable as shown in Fig. 2.4. Hence, it can easily be found by equating the initial

kinetic energy of the impact 0.5Mvr 2 and the maximum elastic strain energy of the

vehicle column system under force F (

F2

).

2ke

ke

vr

Figure 2.4: Single degree of freedom SDOF model idealization for the derivation of Eq. 2.2

In addition, Annex C of Eurocode1: Part1-7 (Eurocode1, 2006) suggests that the impact

force calculated from Eq. 2.2 can be treated as a rectangle dynamic impulse on the

surface of the structure as shown in Fig. 2.5 with the duration calculated using Eq. 2.3.

37

vr ke .M

t = M / k e

rise time

t = M / ke ..................................................................................................................................... 2.3

This equation is derived by substituting Eq. 2.2 as the impact force (F) in the following

momentum conservation equation:

It should be pointed out that Eq. 2.2 neglects the interaction between the vehicle and the

structure, resulting in underestimated values of the impact force for the hard impact

cases and overestimated values for the soft impact cases. In addition, the plastic

behaviour of either the impacting vehicle or the structure is not considered.

Sections 4.7.2.1 and 5.6.2.1 of Eurocode1: Part 2 (Eurocode1, 2003) give nominal

design values of an equivalent static force for impact on road bridges, footbridges and

railway bridges due to vehicle collision. These forces are constant, being 1000 kN in the

direction of vehicle travel or 500 kN perpendicular to that direction.

Similarly, the American Concrete Institute standard for the analysis and design of

reinforced and pre-stressed-concrete guideway structures (ACI, 1992) suggests an

equivalent horizontal static force value of 1000kN to represent vehicle impact on piers

or other guideway support structures which are located less than 3m from the edge of an

adjacent street or highway. The location of the applied horizontal force is suggested to

be 1.2 m above ground level.

38

The basis of these values has been questioned by various researchers, for example

Vrouwenvelder (Vrouwenvelder, 2000). As will be assessed in this thesis, it is not

appropriate to use a constant force.

El-Tawil et al. (2005) presented a numerical simulation study of a vehicle colliding with

a concrete bridge pier using the commercial finite element code LS-DYNA. The

analysis results revealed that the dynamic impact forces are much higher than the design

impact forces suggested by the AASHTO code (AASHTO, 2007). Moreover, the

equivalent static design force, which is defined as the force that causes the same amount

of deformation as the dynamic impact force, is also higher than that in the AASHTO

code. Therefore, El-Tawil et al. suggested that the current design specifications may be

un-conservative.

Ghose, (2009) presented a background document to the development of the current

design and assessment requirements for bridges under vehicular impact. The document

presented the findings of research and development projects undertaken by Network

Rail and the Highways Agency (HA) in the UK to quantify impact forces and to

estimate the extent of bridge damage based on finite element simulations using the FE

code LS-DYNA (Ghose, 2009). One major conclusion from these researches is that, for

vehicular impacts on bridge columns and piers, the static design force given in part 5

(BD 60/04) of the Design Manual For Roads And Bridges (Highways Agency, 2004)

is adequate only for the average impact force while the peak impact force is very high in

head-on collisions. Therefore, the statically applied design loads, in addition to having

to consider the dynamic amplification factor, would need to be significantly increased in

order to accurately predict the dynamic effect on a bridge support.

Ferrer et al (2010) have also presented a numerical study to assess the current European

regulations and standards (Eurocode1, 2002, Eurocode1, 2006). This study was

undertaken by comparing the static force values suggested by these codes with

numerical FEM dynamic analysis. Ferrer et al. found that the equivalent static load of a

vehicle impact on a structure is mainly dependent on the impact speed. Therefore, it is

not realistic to give one value for this load regardless of the vehicle speed.

Sharma et al. (2012) have proposed a new requirement for the current standards

specifications regarding the analysis and design of RC columns under vehicle impact.

The suggested requirement is mainly based on the determination of the dynamic shear

39

resistance of the column to prevent a certain level of damage to occur in the column

rather than to prevent the column collapse mechanism as currently suggested by most of

the current standard and codes. It has been found that the column dynamic shear

resistance varies with the mass and velocity of the vehicle in addition to the column

configuration. Moreover, it has been concluded that the estimated values of dynamic

shear force is greater that the static or quasi-static quantity currently suggested by most

of the codes of practice. Therefore, the study suggests that the dynamic resistance must

be used for the analysis and design of structures subjected to vehicle impact.

It is clear from the previous discussions that although representing the transverse impact

as an equivalent static force, or using a dynamic impulse approximation as in the current

standards and codes, may provide design engineers with a relatively simple empirical

design or assessment procedure; it involves many uncertainties that may be grossly

inaccurate. For instance, none of the above methods considers the interactions between

the structure and the impacting body. In addition, none of the above methods includes

work undertaken by the axial force in the structural member as it deforms. Also the

existing research studies have focused on bridge support structures and there is a lack of

such investigation for building structures.

The main objective of the present study is to develop a more realistic analysis procedure

to predict the dynamic impact effects and to quantify the failure conditions of axially

loaded steel columns under a transverse vehicle impact. Different parameters will be

considered in the analysis including column boundary conditions, column axial load

ratios, vehicle masses, vehicle velocities and impact locations and directions. The

behaviour and failure of the impacted column under such a dynamic event will be

predicted numerically and analytically in terms of the critical impact velocity at which

the column would be considered to have failed. Both global and local failure modes will

be included in the numerical analysis.

2.3.

Due to resource limitation, this study will be conducted numerically and analytically.

The numerical results will be used to generate extensive data for developing the

analytical methods. The numerical simulations will need to be validated by comparison

against the experimental results obtained by others. Thus, it is necessary to review the

40

developments related to steel column behaviour under transverse impact and the

analytical methods used to predict such dynamic behaviour.

In addition, this research is concerned with steel columns under vehicle impact and it is

not desirable to introduce a detailed simulation of the vehicle when studying the column

behaviour. Therefore, simplification of the vehicle is required and this chapter will also

provide a review on vehicles characterises used in this simplifications.

under a transverse impact load

A considerable amount of literature has been published on the experimental and

numerical studies of the behaviour and failure modes of structural members under

transverse impact. In particular, the behaviour of axially restrained beams under

transverse impact has been studied intensively (Menkes and Opat, 1973, Liu and Jones,

1987, Yu and Jones, 1989, Yu and Jones, 1991, Yu and Jones, 1997, Mannan et al.,

2008, Bambach et al., 2008). This is understandable as axially restrained beams are

frequently used as members to absorb impact energy in such major applications as

vehicle crash barriers. On the other hand, although columns under compressive load

may also be involved in an accidental vehicle crash, the emphasis has been almost

wholly on vehicle crashworthiness for occupant protection. However, with structural

robustness now an important topic for the structural engineering research community,

the behaviour of columns under vehicle impact deserves attention. Nevertheless,

although the behaviour of axially compressed columns under transverse impact will be

different from that of axially restrained beams undergoing axial tension, a review of

beam behaviour can help to understand some aspects of the steel column behaviour.

The experimental study of Menkes and Opat (1973) identified three modes of failure of

clamped aluminium beams subjected to transverse impulsive dynamic load. These

failure modes essentially depended on the impulse intensity (see Fig. 2.6)

I-

large plastic deformation of the whole beam with the formation of a plastic

hinge mechanism;

II-

III-

41

the central section. However, some overlapping was observed between the tensile and

transverse shear failure modes.

A large number of research studies have investigated how these three failure modes may

be quantified under the influence of different parameters, such as the influence of pretensioning (Chen and Yu, 2000), material type and impact location (Liu and Jones,

1987, Yu and Jones, 1989, Yu and Jones, 1991, Yu and Jones, 1997), the impact speed

(Mannan et al., 2008), and different types of cross-section (Bambach et al., 2008). Of

these three failure modes, global failure and shear failure may occur in axially

compressed columns under transverse impact.

Figure 2.6: Tensile tearing failure and transverse shear failure of clamped steel beams under the

impact of drop mass (Liu and Jones, 1987) (a): Transverse shear failure at the impact point, (b)(d): Tensile tearing failure at the impact

Very few studies have been carried out on the behaviour and failure modes of axially

compressed columns under transverse impact. Amongst these studies, Zeinoddini et al

conducted a series of experimental and numerical investigations to study the response of

axially pre-compressed steel tubes under low velocity transverse impact (Zeinoddini et

al., 1999, Zeinoddini et al., 2002, Zeinoddini et al., 2008a, Zeinoddini et al., 2008b).

Two failure modes were identified from the experimental results: plastic global

buckling under high axial compression load, and local indentation and damage of the

impact zone when the axial load is low and the tube is thin (Fig. 2.7).

42

Figure 2.7: View of the deformed specimens after impact (Zeinoddini et al., 2002)

numerically the buckling and post buckling behaviour of a number of small scale axially

compressed aluminium columns subjected to lateral impact loads. They also identified

global instability as the main failure mode of the columns, see Fig. 2.8. Due to the

failure mode being global buckling, they found that the critical condition of column

buckling was controlled only by the kinetic energy of the transverse impact, but was

independent of the history of the transverse impact or its impulse. It has been observed

that when a column is subjected to transverse impact, it buckles in the lower bucking

mode under pure axial load irrespective of the location of impact.

Figure 2.8: Buckling failure of impacted aluminium columns for different impact velocities

(Adachi et al., 2004)

Typically, as the above studies were among the first on this topic, they are limited in

scope and their conclusions are preliminary. Consequently, there is insufficient data to

43

column behaviour for the development of practical design methods. The aim of this

research is to build on these preliminary research investigations and to develop an

extensive database of column behaviour under transverse impact. Some of the above

mentioned experimental results also provide data for the validation of the numerical

modelling presented in chapter three.

As a summary, the following failure modes are the ones most likely to occur in axially

loaded steel columns under transverse impact:

a) Shear failure (either at the impact zone or at the supports)

b) Local failure and indentation at the impact zone, and

c) Global buckling of the whole impacted column.

This research will attempt to identify the conditions under which these failure modes

occur and to focus attention on the most relevant failure mode, i.e. global buckling.

Although the finite element method can provide an accurate and versatile approach for

modelling structural behaviour under impact, its employment requires significant effort

and expertise. This is particularly true if nonlinear dynamic analysis, material

nonlinearity and strain rate dependence are included in the numerical simulations.

Moreover, in many situations, obtaining such a complex finite element solution

consumes a great amount of computation time, which precludes its use in general

structural design. It is, therefore, desirable to develop an approximate, but simplified

analytical method.

This section will present a detailed review and description of a number of selected

analytical researches that are directly relevant to the present research study, and which

will later be used as background for developing the analytical or semi-analytical

modelling approach, to be reported in detail in chapter six.

Developing a simplified method for analysing structural response under impact load has

received significant research effort (Parkes, 1958, Symonds and Mentel, 1958, Nonaka,

1967, Symonds and Jones, 1972, Liu and Jones, 1988, Jones, 1997, Chen and Yu,

2000). However, as in the experimental studies, these investigations have all

44

concentrated on beam or plate structures under pure bending or axial tension (when

axially restrained) under impact.

The quasi-static approach was also adopted in the development of the analytical

methods. In this approach, the static equilibrium state is assumed for the structural

system and the resultant static deformation shape is then used to express the energy

absorbed due to the elastic and/or plastic deformations of the impacted structural

member. The equation of the external work done by the axial load can also be derived

based on the assumed static deformation shape. The static deformation shape could be

assumed to be the deformation shape of the structural member under transverse loads

(Biggs, 1964, Humar, 2002), or the buckling mode shape of the column (Adachi et al.,

2004, Sastranegara et al., 2006, Shope, 2006). Afterwards, the energy quantities are

used to write the energy conservation equation for the original dynamic system.

Experimental validation of the quasi-static assumption was provided by Liu and Jones

(1987) who conducted tests on small scale clamped metal beams impacted transversely

by a rigid mass travelling with low impact velocities at different locations along the

beam length. They revealed that the locations and types of failure of the impacted

beams were similar to those of the beams loaded statically. This is an important

conclusion which can be employed to simplify the analytical approaches to beams and

columns under such transverse impacts. Further experimental and numerical

confirmations of the quasi-static assumption may be traced to Zeinoddini et al (2002,

Zeinoddini et al., 2008a) who, crucially, indicated that quasi-static analysis may be used

for the impact velocity used (25.9 km/h).

The analytical study undertaken by Jones (Jones, 1995) on a clamped beam has shown

that the quasi-static analysis can be used to predict the inelastic behaviour of clamped

beams subjected to low velocity transverse impact provided that the ratio of the striker

mass to the beam mass is not less than one in order to ensure that most of the impact

kinetic energy would be absorbed as plastic deformations during the global plastic

mechanism phase. A comparison between the quasi-static solution results with the

theoretical dynamic solution obtained by Shen and Jones (1991) has revealed that the

error introduced by the quasi-static procedure was within acceptable ranges provided

that the ratio of the striker mass to the beam mass is larger than about three. The error is

significant when the striker masses are smaller than the total beam mass. It has also

been concluded that, for many engineering applications, the rigid-plastic assumption of

45

the material behaviour may be used to simplify the quasi-static analysis. Even in the

case of a light vehicle impacting a heavy steel column section, it is expected that the

ratio of the vehicle mass to the steel column mass will not be less than one. Therefore,

the quasi-static assumption can be adopted for the research problem of this study.

The quasi-static method has also been adopted by Wen et al (1995) and Bambach et al.

(2008) to establish the transverse force - transverse displacement relationship. In the

Wen et al. study (1995) an analytical method was presented to predict the critical

transverse deformations, the critical absorbed energy and failure modes of the clamped

beam made from a rigid perfectly plastic material subjected to transverse impact by a

mass travelling at a low velocity. The quasi-static approximation has been adopted in

the analysis to derive the force-displacement relationship using a virtual work method.

The plastic deformation shape was assumed in order to derive the transverse and axial

deformations relationships. As the clamped beam is more vulnerable to shear and

membrane action effects, both deformations were included in deriving the forcedisplacement relationship alongside the bending deformations. The energy conservation

principle was then employed to determine the maximum plastic transverse deformation

at which the steel beam failure occurs under both tensile tearing and/or shear failure

modes. The comparison with the experimental results confirmed the validity of the

proposed method.

Bambach et al. (2008) used the quasi-static method to establish the transverse force transverse displacement relationship of hollow and concrete filled steel beam sections

under transverse impact using a procedure similar to that adopted by Jones (1995),

taking into account the effect of the local reduction in the sectional depth at the impact

point on the plastic moment capacity of the section at that point by applying the

interaction curve equation for this type of steel sections, (see Fig.2.9).

46

The present study aims to address the problem of axially compressed steel columns

under transverse impact on which there is very little research. The presence of an axial

compressive load significantly changes the behaviour of the structural member and

failure mode, from local or shear failure of structural beams/plates with in-plane axial

restraint to global buckling failure under compression. Among a few relevant research

studies, Shope (Shope, 2006) has used the energy conservation principle with quasistatic approximation to develop a simplified analytical and design model to predict the

critical impulse values for a wide flanged steel column section (W8x4) under a static

axial force subjected to a blast load with different boundary conditions and slenderness

ratios. In that study, Shope assumed that the system behaves as a single degree of

freedom in an elastic perfectly plastic manner, as shown in Fig. 2.10. The critical

impulse-axial load relationship was obtained by setting the kinetic energy of the

impulse equal to the total strain energy of the column at the maximum plastic

displacement point. Since the numerical model utilized a beam element to model the

steel column, the effect of local deformation or flange buckling was not considered in

both the numerical simulations and the suggested analytical method.

Figure 2.10: Idealized system used by Shope (2006) with elasticperfectly plastic material

behaviour

Tsang and Lam (2008) have employed the quasistatic nonlinear approach combined

with the energy conservation principle to investigate the impact resistance of reinforced

concrete columns subjected to road vehicle impact at the column mid-height. The

impact resistance of the column was estimated by determining the frontal impact

velocity of the vehicle to cause global instability of the column. The energy absorbed by

the column at failure was used in the energy balance equation. The transverse impact

force resistance function was derived based on a quasi-static approximation of the

reinforced concrete column behaviour under the dynamic impact load (Fig. 2.11).

47

Figure 2.11: Simplified force-deformation behaviour of a concrete column, with and without

The effect of the axial compressive force was taken into account by including the PW effect in the moment equation at the critical section as follows:

M =

FL PW

+

............................................................................................................................... 2.5

8

2

Where F is the transverse impact force at the columns mid-span, L is the column

length; P is the axial compressive force.

This gives the transverse impact force as:

F=

8M 2 PW

............................................................................................................................... 2.6

L

L

The energy absorbed by the vehicle at the failure point was calculated by assuming a

linear relationship between the impact force and the uniform shortening of the vehicle

frontal as below:

U veh =

2

Fmax

...................................................................................................................................... 2.7

2 K veh

Where: Fmax is the maximum impact force generated between the impacting vehicle and

the column and Kveh. is the vehicle frontal stiffness. No information was given about

how the value of Kveh can be obtained but its value was taken to be 1500kN/m.

48

A comparison with non-linear dynamic simulation results showed that the quasi-static

method underestimated the column impact resistance by 40%. This underestimation of

column resistance was as a result of neglecting the contribution of the inertia force on

the column resistance (Tsang and Lam, 2008). However, for steel columns that are

much lighter in weight than RC columns, the effects of the inertial force will be small

and it may acceptable to discard them.

It is evident from the aforementioned literature review that there are gross assumptions

in the design of axially loaded steel columns under transverse impact. Therefore, one of

the main objectives of this research is to present the full development of an analytical

method for predicting the critical velocity of vehicle impact on steel columns under

axial compression that may be adopted in design. This proposed method will utilize the

energy balance approach assuming quasi-static behaviour of the impacted steel column.

The steel stress-strain curve will be assumed to be elastic-perfectly plastic. The energy

balance approach will account for both elastic and plastic lateral deformations of the

steel column, axial movement of the column and the energy absorbed by vehicle

deformations.

Many research studies have used the finite element method to simulate vehicle impact

on structures. In some of these studies, the vehicle impact was simulated using a time

varying load with an assumed maximum amplitude (Thilakarathna et al., 2010, Varat

and Husher, 2000 ) as shown in Fig. 2.12. The impact load-time function of the vehicle

may be obtained from experimental crash tests. However, this approach involves many

approximations and uncertainties which affect the level of accuracy achieved. For

example, the impact force-time history of the vehicle cannot be accurately predicted

because it depends on a large number of variables including the vehicle dynamic

characteristics such as vehicle mass, vehicle velocity and the strain rate sensitivity of

vehicle components (see Fig. 2.12(B)) in addition to the geometrical and material

characteristics of the impacted column itself. Moreover, this approach cannot accurately

account for the local deformations in the vehicle at the impact point because it does not

simulate the contact interaction generated between the vehicle and the column.

Furthermore, the effect of kinetic impact energy on column behaviour and failure

cannot be considered if the vehicle impact is input as an impulsive load.

49

7.0E+05

Ford Tautus; V=56km/h,

mass=1619kg

Honda Accord;

V=48km/h, mass=1329kg

Renault Fuego;

V=48km/h, mass=1329kg

6.0E+05

5.0E+05

4.0E+05

3.0E+05

2.0E+05

1.0E+05

0.0E+00

0

0.02

0.04

0.06

0.08

0.1

Time (sec.)

Figure 2.12: (A) A frontal collision test of a Honda Accord at a speed of 48.3 km/h;(B) Forcetime histories of full scale crash tests for different types of vehicle (from (Thilakarathna et al.,

2010).

On the other hand, full-scale finite element models of vehicles have been frequently

used to simulate vehicle impact under different impact scenarios to assess vehicle

integrity. Full scale vehicle modelling is necessary because the focus is on the vehicle.

However, the simulation is demanding, involving a very large number of elements,

material nonlinearity, strain rate dependency and very large strains and deformations.

For structural engineering applications of vehicle impact on structural members such as

the columns of a building, it is doubtful whether full-scale vehicle modelling is

necessary when the focus of the study is on the structural member, not the vehicle.

Nevertheless, some numerical studies have been attempted using full-scale numerical

vehicle models to assess the design approaches and equations used to investigate

vehicle impact on columns and bridge piers under vehicle impact. These studies include

a numerical study of vehicle impact on concrete bridge piers conducted by El-Tawil et

al. (2005), a numerical study of vehicle impact on a traffic light steel pole by Elmarakbi

et al. (2006) and the numerical study conducted by Ferrer et al. (2010) to simulate

vehicle impact on underground car park steel columns. In all these studies, some

limitations had to be applied in order to reduce the simulation effort and time. For

example, in the El-Tawil et al. study, the effects of material nonlinearity and the failure

of the structure were neglected and in the Elmarakbi et al. and Ferrer et al. studies,

material failure was also neglected in the simulation and only one direction of impact

was considered in the numerical simulations. These limitations severely restrict the

applications of such investigations. Furthermore, in many situations, a full-scale model

of a particular vehicle type is either not yet available or is not accessible to engineers.

50

0.12

The above discussion leads to the conclusion that there is a need to develop a simplified

numerical vehicle model which can be utilized for studying the behaviour and failure of

structures under vehicle impact. This has already been recognized by others and the

following sections review work already undertaken in this area to identify the gap for

further development.

2.3.3.1.

Simplifying approaches

(Emori, 1968) suggested that the undamaged or intact portion of the impacting vehicle

may be considered as a rigid body while the crushed portion of the vehicle absorbs all

the kinetic energy of the impacting vehicle just before the impact. Therefore, the vehicle

impact processes may be modelled by a spring-mass system in which the rigid mass

represents the vehicle total mass and the one-way linear spring represents the vehicle

resistance, see Fig.2.13.

Tani and Emori (1970) proposed a more sophisticated mathematical model having three

masses and three springs simulating the three parts of a vehicle: the engine box, the

structure in front of the engine and the frontal structure. The load-deflection

characteristics of each spring were determined based on experimental observations.

Kamal (1970) and Lin (1973) proposed further refinements to the previous two models

by using eight nonlinear springs with three masses to simulate frontal impact (Kamal,

1970) and seven nonlinear springs to simulate rear barrier impact (Lin, 1973).

In the above-mentioned studies, the vehicle impact was against a wide, flat and rigid

barrier rather than a deformable structure with a limited width such as a column

considered in the present study. Nevertheless, the concept of simplifying the vehicle

51

using a spring-mass system is still applicable as long as the spring can capture the

dynamic and stiffness characteristics of the impacting vehicle.

Milner et al. (2001) presented a simplified theoretical study based on the dynamic

analysis of two and three degrees of freedom system of a vehicle impacting on wooden

poles. In their analytical model, the vehicle was modelled by a mass representing the

vehicle total mass and a bi-linear stiffness representing the vehicle stiffness

characteristics before and after the engine location, see Fig. 2.14. No information was

given in the study about how the bilinear stiffness values were obtained. However, their

validation results suggested validity of the bilinear stiffness assumption.

6.E+05

Vehicle-rigid pole impact test

5.E+05

Force (N)

4.E+05

K2=2900000N/m

3.E+05

2.E+05

1.E+05

K1=250000N/m

Engine strike

0.E+00

0.E+00

1.E-01

2.E-01

3.E-01

4.E-01

5.E-01

6.E-01

Displacement (m)

Figure 2.14: Vehicle stiffness characteristics defined by Milner et al. (Milner et al., 2001)

2.3.3.2.

Campbell (1976) proposed a linear equation to estimate the peak impact force and the

energy absorbed by a vehicle in terms of its frontal plastic deformation. A linear forcedisplacement relationship is proposed based upon full frontal impact on a crash barrier

at velocities ranging from 24 km/h to 97 km/h. The maximum impact force is given by:

Where: A and B are stiffness coefficients of the vehicle and C is vehicle deformation.

Fig. 2.15 shows an example of the impact force - vehicle deformation relationship, in

which Cmax is the maximum deformation of the vehicle. The two main assumptions are

that

the

damage

of

the

vehicle

is

52

uniform

and

the

force-deflection

relationship does not significantly vary across the vehicle width. A minimum limit of

25% of the vehicle frontal width in contact with the struck object was suggested.

6.E+05

Fmax

Impact force (N)

5.E+05

4.E+05

B

3.E+05

2.E+05

1.E+05

Cmax

0.E+00

0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

Figure 2.15: An example of a vehicle impact force-crush distance relationship

Campbell also proposed equations to relate the stiffness coefficients A and B in Eq. 2.8

to the vehicle width (Wv), vehicle mass (M), using experimental parameters (b1 and b0)

as follows:

A=

Mbo b1

.......................................................................................................................................... 2.9

Wv

B=

Mb 21

............................................................................................................................................ 2.10

Wv

Following Campbells study, many other research studies were conducted to suggest

alternative approaches to compute the values of A, B, b0, and b1 without having to resort

to experimental data.

In one of these attempts, Jiang et al. (2004) used Campbells equation to develop an

analytical approach to predict the peak impact force caused by a vehicle frontal and

inclined crash into concrete road safety barriers perpendicular to the barrier. They

assumed that the value of b0 could be taken as 2.2m/s while b1 could be determined

using the following equation:

53

b1 =

V bo

C max ......................................................................................................................................... 2.11

Where: V is the standard vehicle impact velocity used in crash barrier tests (around

56.km/h for most vehicle crash tests).

In their derivations, Jiang et al. (2004) assumed that all the impact energy was absorbed

by vehicle deformation without any contribution from the impacted concrete barrier.

The energy absorbed by vehicle deformation was obtained by integrating equation 2.8

over the damage profile of the vehicle after impact.

On the other hand, Siddall and Day (1996) defined five classes of passenger vehicles

and two classes of pickup, vans and multi-purpose vehicles, and proposed the A and B

values in Table 2.3.

Table 2.3: Generic stiffness coefficients A and B to be used in Campbells equation (Siddall and

Day, 1996)

Vehicle

type

Passenger

vehicles

Pickup Vehicles

Van Vehicles

Multi-Purpose

Vehicles

Class

No.

A

(N/m)

B

(N/m2)

A

(N/m)

B

(N/m2)

A

(N/m)

B

(N/m2)

A

(N/m)

B

(N/m2)

1

2

3

4

5

31566

32344

36188

37722

50564

497180

457673

482426

459880

782210

46597

38457

n/a

n/a

n/a

750976

471601

n/a

n/a

n/a

54029

62727

n/a

n/a

n/a

930792

1066963

n/a

n/a

n/a

46524

38397

n/a

n/a

n/a

750976

471601

n/a

n/a

n/a

(1200kg) and medium weight vehicles (1600kg) and 2000 kN/m for heavy vehicles

(2000kg). The proposed values were validated against full frontal rigid barrier crash

tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for

different vehicle models, weights and velocities.

In these previous studies, the structure was almost rigid whereas, in the present study,

the structure (column) is flexible and will deform and absorb energy during the impact

process. Nevertheless, this research study will investigate the applicability of the

existing approach. In this study, the method of investigation will include the following

steps:

54

impact;

b) Proposing and validating a simplified vehicle model, based on a comparison of

column behaviour between using a full vehicle model and a simplified vehicle

model. The numerical simulations will be carried out using the finite element

code ABAQUS/Explicit;

c) Suggesting a method to estimate the simplified vehicle characteristics.

2.4.

Although many research studies have investigated the behaviour of structures under

impact, very few studies have considered axially compressed columns without

longitudinal restraint. Consequently, the practical design of this type of structure is

based on very simple rudimentary rules using an equivalent static load. The aim of this

research is to investigate this problem in detail so as to provide designers with a more

accurate approach. This research will be conducted using numerical simulations to

generate extensive data to guide the development of simplified analytical methods.

Specifically, the objectives of this research are as follows:

1. To suggest and validate a numerical model for the simulation of axially loaded

steel columns subjected to transverse impact using the commercial finite

element code ABAQUS/Explicit. The validation should be based on a

comparison between the proposed simulation model and the relevant

experiments conducted by others;

2. To conduct extensive parametric studies to provide a comprehensive database of

results covering different impact masses, impact velocities and impact locations

in addition to different column boundary conditions, axial load ratios and section

sizes;

3. To develop a simplified numerical vehicle model which can be used to simulate

the effects of vehicle impact on steel columns by using the commercial finite

element code ABAQUS/Explicit;

4. To develop a simplified analytical method for predicting the critical velocity of

rigid body and vehicle impact on the axially compressed steel columns. This

method will be based on the energy balance approach with a quasi-static

55

be used to develop an understanding of the detailed behaviour of steel columns

under transverse impact in order to inform the assumptions of the analytical

method. The numerical simulations results will also be used to ascertain the

accuracy of the proposed analytical method;

5. To use the numerical simulations results to assess the accuracy of the various

design methods.

2.5.

Summary

This chapter has presented an overview of the behaviour and the failure modes of

axially loaded columns under transverse impact. The main focus of this chapter has

been to present and discuss the previous research studies in this field so as to identify

gaps in knowledge in order to justify the originality of this research. A further detailed

review of different aspects of this research project will be presented in individual

chapters.

has been also presented. Clearly, very few of the previous research studies have

addressed the impact behaviour of columns under axial compression and no axial

restraint. The analytical method may be developed based on the energy conservation

principle with a quasi-static approximation of column behaviour. This chapter has

reviewed the basis of this analytical approach and the assumptions and conclusions of

previous related studies. This approach will be fully developed in chapter six.

56

Chapter Three

Validation of Finite Element Modelling Using ABAQUS/Explicit

3.1.

Introduction

One of the most effective and accurate numerical methods to handle the problem of

dynamic analysis of structures under impact is the finite element method (Zienkiewicz

and Taylor, 1991, Bonet and Wood, 1997, Crisfield, 1997, Belytschko et al., 2000). For

the problem under consideration in this study, dynamic simulation will be required.

The main objective of this chapter is to validate the application of the general finite

element package ABAQUS/Explicit to the impact problem of this research so that it can

be used to generate extensive numerical results through parametric studies for the

development of a design method. For this, the simulation results will be compared with

relevant experimental and/or numerical results of others available in the literature.

This chapter will present a detailed description of the procedure used in this research

study for modelling axially compressed steel columns subjected to short duration impact

by a rigid mass. This chapter will also describe the geometrical, material, and loading

application parameters used in the numerical model. Special attention will also be paid

to modelling the contact interaction between the impacting body (rigid mass or vehicle)

and the impacted steel column due to its importance to impact analysis. A considerable

sub-section of this chapter will be allocated to describing the material model used in this

study to predict different failure modes of steel under such a transverse impact load.

ABAQUS/Explicit

ABAQUS /Explicit is a finite element analysis programme that can be adapted to solve

special cases of transient dynamic problems such as blast and impact by utilizing an

explicit dynamic finite element formulation. In addition to its availability,

ABAQUS/Explicit is considered more appropriate and will be used during this research

project for the following reasons.

57

a) The explicit dynamics method is more suitable to analyzing high-speed and lowduration dynamic events such as the traverse impact problems investigated in the

present study(SIMULIA, 2010c);

b) Impact load is generated due to the contact interaction between the contacted bodies.

The contact interaction can be formulated more easily in ABAQUS using an

explicit, rather than an implicit dynamics method;

c) In order to predict different failure modes (global and local) that the impacted steel

column may undergo, the analysis procedure along with the material model must be

capable of tracing the response of the column up to failure point. While capturing

local failure occurring in the material usually results in convergence problems in

the implicit analysis procedure, these problems are mitigated considerably in

ABAQUS/Explicit owing to the explicit procedure used in the analysis.

3.2.1. Summary of the explicit dynamics algorithm (SIMULIA, 2010c)

ABAQUS/Explicit does not require solving a system of simultaneous equations as in

the standard finite element procedure. Instead, it integrates the dynamic quantities

(accelerations, velocities, dynamic stresses and strains) over the time increment by

employing an explicit dynamic finite element formulation in which the dynamic

quantities are extracted kinematically from one current time increment to the next one,

as illustrated in Fig. 3.1.

58

y(t ) = M

the beginning of the time step by

applying the dynamic equilibrium

equation.

( F( t ) I ( t ) )

( t +t / 2)

( t t / 2)

( t( t +t ) + t( t )

2

explicitly through the time using central

finite difference method to obtain the

nodal velocity and displacement.

(t )

y ( t + t ) = y ( t ) + t ( t + t ) y ( t + t / 2 )

( t + t ) = f (

( t ) ,

strains calculations.

based on element strain increments, ,

computed from the strain rate,

I ( t + t )

Figure 3.1: The computational algorithm used in ABAQUS/Explicit. (Reproduced from

(SIMULIA, 2010c) ))

Where:

M represents the total nodal mass matrix of the system;

I represents the nodal internal forces of the system;

F(t) represents the elements externally applied forces at the start of the current time

step (t);

It can be concluded from the above procedure that the values of nodal accelerations,

nodal velocities and nodal displacements at the end of any time increment are merely

based on the same quantities as at the beginning of the current time step, which explains

why this method is considered explicit. Furthermore, it is evident from the previous

59

procedure that, in order to gain accurate results, the time increment must be small

enough to assume the acceleration to be nearly constant throughout that time increment.

3.2.2. Modelling parameters for structural impact simulation using

ABAQUS/Explicit

Simulating the behaviour of structural members under dynamic impact using

ABAQUS/Explicit requires the careful selection of the proper geometrical and material

modelling parameters so as to produce accurate results that are as close as possible to

the actual behaviour of the impacted members. Due to the nature of the problem

investigated in this study which involves applying a static axial force on a steel column

during impact events, a suitable procedure is adopted to apply the axial force using the

quasi-static procedure available in ABAQUS/Explicit. The following sections describe

the modelling approaches and techniques used in the present study:

1. Geometrical modelling;

2. Material modelling;

3. Modelling of the contact between the impacting body and the steel column;

4. Stability limits and time increment control.

5. Damping effect in the impact analysis;

6. Applying the axial force using the quasi-static procedure.

3.2.2.1. Geometrical modelling

Fig. 3.2 shows the main element types used in the present study to simulate the impact

problem which includes solid, shell and spring elements. The differences in these

element types reflect the differences in the geometrical shapes of the structural members

and bodies simulated in the study. These elements belong to the stress/displacement

element library which is the most suitable to model the complex dynamic problems

involving contact, plasticity and large deformations(SIMULIA, 2010b). Linear (first

order) interpolation is used to calculate the internal stresses and strains at any point in

the element which is the only interpolation order offered by ABAQUS/Explicit for solid

and shell elements.

60

Solid element

C3D8R

Shell element

S4R

Spring element

Figure 3.2: Linear brick, shell and spring elements used in the present numerical simulation

using ABAQUS/Explicit (SIMULIA, 2010b).

Solid elements are used in most of the numerical simulations. Shell elements are used in

simulating hollow steel sections.

For solid and shell elements, ABAQUS/Explicit adopts a reduced integration technique

to integrate various response outputs (stresses and strains) over the element. This

integration technique uses fewer Gaussian integration points than the full integration

scheme. However, the combination of using a reduced integration technique with first

order (linear) interpolation elements leads to what is called the hourglass numerical

problem. To overcome the hourglass problem, ABAQUS/Explicit introduces a small

value of artificial stiffness called hourglass stiffness to an element. Moreover, at least

four elements should be used over the thickness of any structural part modelled in order

to obtain accurate results, as shown in Fig. 3.3.

Four elements

Figure 3.3: Meshing technique used over each thickness of a steel beam using linear elements

with reduced integration.

Linear elements with reduced integration have also been frequently used by most of the

previous numerical studies to model structural impact problems (Yu and Jones, 1997,

Zeinoddini et al., 2008, Dorogoy and Rittel, 2008, Thilakarathna et al., 2010).

3.2.2.2. Material modelling

When the impacting body impacts the column, a high concentration of stress waves

propagate from the impact point towards the ends of the column in a short period of

61

time (Johnson, 1972, Jones, 1997). This concentration of stresses causes highly

nonlinear local behaviour at the impact zone (Johnson, 1985). With the continuation of

the impact event, a stress wave is generated and spread along the entire column length

causing global deformations and possibly global instability. To account for both local

and global deformations, the adopted material behaviour model must be capable of

tracing the development and propagation of the yielding and inelastic flow of the

material up to the failure point. In addition, the strain rate and the strain hardening

effects are other important issues which must also be simulated properly in the dynamic

impact analysis of strain rate sensitive materials such as steel which is considered in this

study.

For the dynamic analysis of ductile members, ABAQUS/Explicit provides two material

models to account for the inelastic behaviour and the local failure of the structural

members under dynamic loads. These are the classical metal plasticity model and the

progressive damage and failure model. The two models work in conjunction with each

other to trace the full response of the material up to failure. These models can consider

the effects of strain hardening, strain rate sensitivity and material failure. The following

two sections will describe in detail the important characteristics of each model.

This model uses von Mises or Hill yield stress with the corresponding plastic flow to

simulate both isotropic and anisotropic yielding of the material. The model uses the true

stress-true strain curve of the material to describe the inelastic response and defines the

elastic response in terms of the material modulus of elasticity, see Fig. 3.4. The strain

hardening and the strain rate effects can be accounted for in this material model with an

acceptable accuracy especially for low strain rates. Hence, it can be adopted for the

vehicle impact problem investigated in the present study. In addition, the classical metal

model can be used in conjunction with the progressive damage and failure model

available in ABAQUS/Explicit to simulate shear and tensile failures. Both failure

modes can occur in transversely impacted steel members (Menkes and Opat, 1973, Yu

and Jones, 1991, Yu and Jones, 1997).

B. Strain hardening

Strain hardening plays a significant role in the nonlinear response of structural metals

such as steel under dynamic impact loads. It has been shown by Bai and Pedersen

62

(1993) that when strain hardening is included in the material behaviour of a structural

member subjected to transverse impact, the structure becomes stiffer, resulting in a

smaller strain energy absorption. In this study, the strain hardening behaviour of the

steel is modelled using isotropic strain hardening in which the increase in yield stress is

assumed to be equal in all directions with the increasing plastic strain. The strain

hardening behaviour is defined in ABAQUS/Explicit as the yield stress-plastic strain

relationship. Fig. 3.4 shows the effect of strain hardening on the typical stress-plastic

strain behaviour of steel.

1.4E+09

1.2E+09

Strain rate effect

1.0E+09

8.0E+08

Strain hardening effect

6.0E+08

4.0E+08

2.0E+08

0.0E+00

0.0

0.2

0.4

0.5

0.7

Plastic strain

Figure 3.4: Typical true plastic stress-true plastic strain relationship of steel, including strain

hardening and strain rate effects.

Strain-rate dependence or strain-rate sensitivity is one of the most important material

dynamic phenomena that must be included in the impact analysis of structures. For

strain-rate sensitive material such as steel or aluminium, the yield stress increases

considerably due to the rapid increase in strain, see Fig. 3.4. This increase in yield stress

depends on the material type and the rate of strain increase (Cowper and Symonds,

1957).

Two methods are offered by ABAQUS/Explicit to introduce the effects of strain-ratedependence in the material model. These are using the Cowper-Symonds over-stress

power law and using the tubular input of yield ratios. The Cowper-Symonds equation is

used in this research. It has been used by many numerical studies to simulate the strain

rate dependence of steel subjected to impact loads (Yu and Jones, 1997, Zeinoddini et

al., 2008, Thilakarathna et al., 2010, Bambach, 2011).

63

Cowper and Symonds (1957) suggested the following equation as the constitutive

relationship between the dynamic flow stress and the uniaxial plastic strain rate:

pl

= D(

o

Or in another form:

pl 1

= o 1 + ( ) n .................................................................................................................... 3.2

Where

pl

o is the value of the static flow (yield) stress, and,

is the value of the dynamic flow (yield) stress at a non-zero strain rate.

The material parameters D and n can be obtained based on the uniaxial compression test

data (Jones, 1997).

Table 3.1 shows the Cowper-Symonds equation parameters for three of the most

common structural materials obtained by comparing Eq. 3.2 with relevant experimental

data (Cowper and Symonds, 1957, Jones, 1997).

Table 3.1: Cowper-Symonds equation parameters for common structural materials (Jones, 1997)

Material

Mild-Steel

40.4

Aluminium

6500

Stainless Steel

100

10

It can be noticed from Eq. 3.2 and Table 3.1 that for mild steel, when the stain rate goes

to 40s-1, the dynamic yield stress value becomes twice the static stress. It is common to

reach a strain rate value of 40s-1 even in low velocity impacts.

D. Progressive damage and failure for ductile metal (SIMULIA,

2010a)

The progressive damage and failure model in ABAQUS/Explicit is used to trace the

material behaviour from fracture initiation toward complete failure. This failure model

can allow the specification of different failure initiation criteria including tensile and

64

shear failure. In this failure model, the material stiffness is degraded progressively after

damage initiation according to a specified damage evolution response. This progressive

damage allows for a smooth degradation of the material stiffness, making it suitable for

both quasi-static and dynamic situations. The model offers two choices after complete

failure, these being the removal of elements from the mesh and keeping it in the model

but with a zero stress value.

The progressive damage and failure model provided in ABAQUS/Explicit is employed

in the present numerical model in conjunction with the isotropic metal plasticity model.

According to this model, the typical stressstrain behaviour of steel with strain

hardening and strain rate effects undergoing tensile or shear failure is shown in Fig. 3.5

(SIMULIA, 2010a).

1.8E+09

yo

d = 0

Stress (N/m2 )

1.4E+09

9.0E+08

o b

4.5E+08

E

0.0E+00

o pl

a

0.0

0.2

0.6

0.4

d =1

0.8

f pl

1.0

1.2

Strain

Figure 3.5: Typical uniaxial stress-strain response of the steel with progressive damage

evolution up to failure.

Fig. 3.5 shows a typical stress-strain curve for a progressive damage and failure model

for a ductile material. It consists of three parts: the undamaged material behaviour (a-bc- d in Fig 3.5), the damage initiation criterion (point c in Fig 3.5), and the damage

evolution law (c-d in Fig 3.5). The first part represents the material stress-strain

response in the absence of damage which can be obtained from uniaxial tensile test

while the following sub-sections describe the approach used in the present study to

define the other two parts which deal with damage.

65

The damage initiation criterion represents the point in the material true stress-true strain

response where damage starts to develop and progress. For metals, two damage

initiation criteria are offered by ABAQUS/Explicit according to the fracture

mechanism. Both of these criteria are employed in the present study. They are:

The ductile damage criterion uses the equivalent plastic strain limit at the onset of

pl

damage D as the failure initiation criterion. The value of this strain is described as a

pl

pl

pl

D ( , ) ..................................................................................................................................... 3.3

Where the stress triaxiality is defined by ABAQUS as the ratio of the pressure stress

to the equivalent Mises stress ( = p ).

q

is met

pl

f =

=1

pl

........................................................................................................................... 3.4

pl

Where

Implementing the above damage criterion is undertaken in two steps in this study. In the

first step, a nonlinear dynamic analysis is performed using ABAQUS/Explicit under the

same loading condition but using the isotropic metal plasticity constitutive model to

obtain the values of the maximum stress triaxiality and strain rate corresponding to the

loading condition for the entire model. Then, the fracture strain is obtained from the true

stress versus the true strain curve extracted from the uniaxial tensile test of the material.

In the second step, the values of fracture strain together with the values of strain rate

and stress triaxiality are used as input data in the material damage model.

66

Here, the damage initiation criterion is described in terms of the equivalent plastic strain

at the onset of shear damage ( S ). The value of this strain is a function of the strain

pl

pl

rate and the shear stress ratio S (Boh et al., 2004, SIMULIA, 2010a).

pl

pl

s ( S , )

.................................................................................................................................... 3.5

S =

(q + ks p)

max

................................................................................................................................... 3.6

Material degradation starts when the damage initiation criterion S is met based on the

following condition:

pl

S =

= 1 ............................................................................................................................ 3.7

pl

S

pl

Where

The same procedure that is used to implement the ductile damage criterion is used to

implement the shear damage criterion, except that the maximum shear stress ratio is

extracted from the first step of the nonlinear dynamic analysis.

Once damage initiation is detected at any element using any of the aforementioned

damage initiation criteria, the damage process starts and continues to cause progressive

degradation of the material stiffness of the element until failure. The rate of degradation

with time is referred to as the damage evolution law which can be specified either as

effective plastic displacement or fracture energy dissipation(SIMULIA, 2010a). In this

study, the damage evolution law in all numerical simulations uses an effective plastic

displacement assuming a linear relationship between the damage variable (d) and the

effective plastic displacement

pl

pl

equation:

67

d=

pl

u

.......................................................................................................................................... 3.8

pl

uf

equations:

pl

u pl = Lc pl .................................................................................................................................... 3.9

u f pl = Lc f pl .................................................................................................................................... 3.10

Where Lc is the characteristic length of the element defined as the square root of the

integration point area for shell elements and the cubic root of the integration point

volume for solid elements(SIMULIA, 2010a); f pl is taken as the strain at the complete

failure of the material taken from the uniaxial stress strain curve.

Using the effective plastic displacement approach as the damage evolution law helps to

reduce the mesh dependency of the results. By using this approach, the degradation

response of the material is characterized by a stress-displacement behaviour rather than

failure. For solid element, failure is assumed to take place when ( d =1) at any one

integration point of an element in the model. However, in a shell element all through the

thickness section points at any one integration location of an element must fail before

the element failure. In any case, when complete failure occurs, ABAQUS/Explicit offers

two procedures to complete the analysis: either by removing the failed element from the

model mesh or by keeping it but setting its stress to zero in the next analysis step. The

first option is used in the present study.

In this research study, the material model combining classical metal plasticity with

progressive damage and failure is used because it is the most general, effective and easy

one to use.

3.2.2.3.

When two bodies impact on each other, a contact interaction develops between the

contacted surfaces at the impact zone. This interaction generates a concentrated stress

and/or pressure at each surface with a value depending on the geometrical, material and

dynamic characteristics of each body at the time of impact in addition to the mechanical

68

properties of the contacted surfaces. The pressure resulting from the contact interaction

is referred to as contact pressure and consequently the resulting force is referred to as

the contact or impact force. The contact force takes a very short duration to develop and

then vanishes after the two contacting surfaces separate from each other. However, the

contact force has critical effects on the behaviour and failure of the structural members

under impact. Thus, an accurate and realistic modelling of the contact force is

necessary.

Using ABAQUS/Explicit two approaches can be followed to simulate contact. In the

first approach, the impact force is simulated as a physical contact interaction.

Alternatively, the impact force may be directly input as a time dependent impulse

function using the AMPLITUDE option available in ABAQUS/Explicit (Dorogoy and

Rittel, 2008) as shown in Fig. 3.6. The first approach is adopted in all the numerical

simulations of this study because it gives more realistic results for column behaviour

under impact (Yu and Jones, 1997, Zeinoddini et al., 2008, Thilakarathna et al., 2010).

Time period

Figure 3.6: Simulating impact force as a time dependant function force (SIMULIA, 2010d)

The contact pair algorithm available in ABAQUS/Explicit is employed in the numerical

model to generate the contact. Although the contact pair algorithm is more restrictive

concerning the types of surfaces involved in contact than the general contact algorithm

which is also available in ABAQUS/Explicit, it is used as the default option in this

study because it offers better accuracy. The general contact approach is also used in part

of the numerical simulations conducted in chapter five for generating contact between

the numerical vehicle model and the steel column. In such a contact problem, the

contact pair algorithm cannot be utilized due to several restrictions relating to the

characteristics of the surfaces involved in the contact. The following sub-sections

describe the main contact characteristics adopted in the present study.

69

The contact pair algorithm is defined by specifying the following interaction properties:

Selection of the surfaces used in the contact interaction

The element based surface is used in most of the numerical simulations of this research.

It can be used to define surfaces on the external facet of the body as a deformable or

rigid surface. The selected contact surfaces are defined in a form of master and slave

surface, see Fig. 3.7

Master surface

Salve surface

Defining the contact surfaces using a pure master-slave approach requires refining the

mesh of the model at the contact surfaces to prevent the master surface facet from

overly penetrating the slave surface as shown in Fig. 3.8. This problem is most likely to

occur when there is contact between a deformable body and a relatively rigid body

which is common in the numerical simulations of this study.

Figure 3.8: Master surface penetrating into the slave surface of a pure master-slave contact pair

due to improper meshing(SIMULIA, 2010d).

70

Selecting

the

contact

formulation

(constraint

enforcement

formulation)

Two methods can be used to enforce the contact in numerical simulations depending on

the nature of the contact surfaces: the kinematic contact formulation and the penalty

contact formulation. The former utilizes the kinematic properties of the node (the mass

associated with the node, the distance the slave node has slipped and the time

increment) in the calculations. The kinematic contact formulation is able to conserve the

kinetic energy of the contact. In addition, it does not allow the penetration problem to

occur. Hence, it is considered more suitable for this study. The penalty contact

formulation is used to model rigid surface contact that cannot be modelled using the

kinematic contact method.

Selecting sliding formulation

The default option of the finite sliding in ABAQUS/Explicit is used to define relative

motion between the contact surfaces. This is a more general approach and assumes that

the relative incremental motion between the two contact surfaces does not significantly

exceed the characteristic length of the master surface faces. Moreover, this formulation

allows for arbitrary separation, sliding, and the rotation of the surfaces during contact.

Since the numerical model of this study aims to simulate the behaviour of steel columns

under low to medium velocity impact, the finite sliding assumption is more suitable for

this analysis.

Selecting the mechanical contact properties

These contact properties define the mechanical surface interaction models that control

the tangential and normal stress behaviour of surfaces when they are in contact. The

default ABAQUS/Explicit option of hard contact is utilized to describe the pressureoverclosure relationship of the contact interaction in the normal direction. In hard

contact behaviour when the distance between the two surfaces (clearance) becomes

zero, impact pressure is generated and the contact constraint is applied, see Fig. 3.9.

Afterwards, the contact pressure becomes zero. No penetration is allowed in the hard

contact model and there is no limit for the value of the contact pressure generated from

the impact.

71

Figure 3.9: Contact pressure-clearance relationship for hard contact (SIMULIA, 2010d)

For the tangential direction, ABAQUS/Explicit offers more than one model to describe

the friction formulation. The isotropic penalty friction formulation is used throughout

this study. This model uses the Coulomb friction model to relate the maximum

allowable frictional stress to the contact pressure. The model allows for the specifying

of the coefficient between the contact surfaces and assumes that the coefficient is the

same in all directions. Frictionless and rough friction models are also available in

ABAQUS/Explicit and they can be used to simulate the non-friction and nonslip

behaviour of contact respectively. Nevertheless, because of the very short duration of

the impact event, the effect of friction behaviour on contact interaction is very low.

Other characteristics of contact, such as the tracking approach and contact weighing

algorithm, are chosen automatically by ABAQUS/Explicit.

ABQUS/Explicit has several requirements on the surfaces involved in the contact

problem in order to be able to use the contact pair algorithm. Some of these restrictions

are not satisfied in the full scale numerical vehicle model, used in chapter five, such as

the fact that the contact surfaces are not continuous and deformable and rigid bodies are

combined to define a single surface at some of the contact surfaces. This is because the

vehicle model comprises different components modelled using deformable bodies, rigid

bodies and rigid surfaces with different element types. This variety in the element types,

in addition to the nature of the geometrical shape of the vehicle, restricts the use of the

contact pair algorithm. Therefore, general contact approach is used in the numerical

simulations performed in chapter five to simulate the contact because it allows simple

definitions of contact with very few restrictions on the types of surfaces involved.

72

The same modelling parameters used to define the contact pair algorithm are used to

define the general contact in ABAQUS/Explicit, except that the general contact

algorithm uses only the penalty enforcement method to enforce contact constraints

between the contacting surfaces.

3.2.2.4. Stability limit and time increment control

The stability limit in ABAQUS/Explicit can be defined as the maximum time increment

that can be used in the dynamic explicit analysis procedure(SIMULIA, 2010c). The

highly geometrical and material nonlinearities of the dynamic impact problem of this

research require the stability limit of the model to be changed continuously. Therefore,

the full automatic time increment is used in all numerical simulations in this study to

automatically adjust the time increment. In this time increment strategy, the analysis

starts by calculating the stability limit based on the maximum frequency of all the

individual elements in the system using the element by element search method as in the

following:

t stable =

Le

.................................................................................................................................... 3.11

cd

Where:

Le is the element length taken as the shortest element distance, and

cd =

.......................................................................................................................................... 3.12

Afterwards and according to the nature of the problem under investigation, the stability

limit may be defined in terms of the maximum frequency of the dynamic system which

is referred to as the global stability limit using the following equation:

t stable =

Where

max

max is the

73

c

.............................................................................................................................................. 3.14

cc

Where c is the damping constant of the system and cc is the critical damping value

described by:

cc =2MT max .................................................................................................................................. 3.15

Where MT is the total mass of the structural system.

For an un-damped system =0 which is often used in impact simulations. Then the

stability limit according to Eq. 3.13 becomes:

t stable =

max

................................................................................................................................ 3.16

The full automatic increment control is more conservative, especially during the initial

part of the analysis when using the element by element basis to estimate the stability

limit. It also has more control on the progress of the analysis. Therefore, it is adopted in

this study.

Damping has no significant effect on structural behaviour for the simulated cases in this

study because the duration of the impact is very short compared to the natural period of

the structure system (Jones, 1997, Sastranegara et al., 2006, Zeinoddini et al., 2008,

Thilakarathna et al., 2010). However, to investigate any possible effect of damping, the

procedure below is used to determinate the damping coefficient.

In ABAQUS/Explicit the damping effect can be accounted for in the material modelling

phase by employing the Rayleigh damping procedure(SIMULIA, 2010a). Rayleigh

damping assumes that the damping matrix is a linear combination of mass and stiffness

matrices, as follows (Clough and Penzien, 1975, Humar, 2002):

C = M + K ................................................................................................................. 3.17

Where:

M and K are the nodal mass and stiffness matrices of the structural system,

C is the damping matrix of the structure, and

and are the mass and stiffness proportional Rayleigh damping factors respectively.

74

For a given mode of vibration m, the Rayleigh damping factors ( and ) can be

related to each other using the following expression:

m =

+

2m

2

Where

....................................................................................................................... 3.18

m

Eq. 3.18 indicates that the mass proportional Rayleigh damping, , affects damping of

the lower frequency modes while the stiffness proportional Rayleigh damping, ,

affects damping of the higher frequency mode (SIMULIA, 2010a). Moreover, Eq. 3.18

shows that, for the maximum frequency mode of the structure, max , the value of max

increases when the stiffness proportional Rayleigh damping, increases as in the

following equation.

max =

max

+

.............................................................................................3.19

2max

2

On the other hand, Eq. 3.13 shows that the time increment for numerical stability in

ABAQUS/Explicit decreases with increasing max . Therefore, using the stiffness

proportional Rayleigh damping, , to damp out the lowest frequency mode in

ABAQUS/Explicit significantly decreases time increment for stable dynamic analysis.

Hence, using the mass proportional damping, , is more suitable to damp out the low

frequency response in ABAQUS/Explicit analysis (Thilakarathna et al., 2010,

SIMULIA, 2010a).

For low frequency response, the mass proportional damping, , can be calculated by

neglecting the contribution of the stiffness proportional damping (i.e. =0), in Eq.

3.18, to obtain the following equation:

= 2m m ....................................................................................................................................... 3.20

The natural frequency of the structural dynamic system, m , can be calculated in the

linear perturbation analysis available in ABAQUS/Standard while the damping ratio

75

needs to be assumed in advance according to the nature of the structural system. Once

the damping ratio is assumed and the frequency is determined, the Rayleigh mass

proportional damping factor can be subsequently calculated from Eq. 3.20. Section 3.3

gives an example of the effects of damping.

3.2.2.6. Sequence of axial load application

The numerical model developed in this study is mainly intended to simulate the

behaviour and failure modes of an impacted steel column under a static compressive

axial load. Therefore, the model must be able to maintain a static axial load on the

structural member while the member is subjected to dynamic impact. This means that

both the static and dynamic loads should be exerted simultaneously during the entire

dynamic analysis duration. In ABAQUS/Explicit, only one dynamic analysis is allowed.

Therefore, the only way to simulate the static load effect is to apply the axial load as a

quasi-static

load

using

the

quasi-static

analysis

procedure

available

in

should be applied as a time dependant function using the SMOOTH AMPLITUDE

option(SIMULIA, 2010d), see Fig. 3.10. Furthermore, the time period during which the

load is applied must not be less than the natural period of the structural system to

produce accurate static results by eliminating pseudo-dynamic effects (SIMULIA,

2010e, Biggs, 1964).

Figure 3.10: Smooth step amplitude curve used to define a quasi-static load (SIMULIA, 2010e)

To ensure that the load effect is static rather than dynamic, the kinetic energy of the

deformable structural system should not exceed 10% of the total strain

energy(SIMULIA, 2010e), see Fig. 3.11.

76

WK

IE

Figure 3.11: Energy histories for a quasi-static structural system (SIMULIA, 2010e)

Where:

IE is the internal energy;

VD is the viscous dissipation energy;

KE is the residual kinetic energy;

FD is the frictional dissipation energy;

WK is the work done by the external forces; and

ETOTAL is the total conserved energy of the system.

Hence, for the numerical simulations involving axially loaded members under impact,

the sequence of load application is in two separate analysis steps as follows:

a) Quasi-static step: the axial compressive load is applied during the natural period

of the column;

b) Impact dynamic step: after the column has achieved equilibrium, the impact load

is applied by establishing a contact interaction between the impacting body and

the impacted member.

Although the dynamic impact behaviour of structures has been investigated previously

by many research studies, the problem of axially preloaded steel columns subjected to

transverse impact loads has been very rarely considered either experimentally or

numerically. Therefore, validation of the numerical simulations of such a problem is

somewhat difficult. However, confidence in the correct implementation of the

77

transverse impact problem by checking the modelling approaches used in this study as

described in the previous sections.

In this section, the ABAQUS/Explicit simulation results will be assessed against three

series of published experimental tests. These three series of experiments are selected to

ensure that different possible column failure modes are covered. These validation test

series are:

Transverse impact tests on steel tubes under an axial compressive load

(Zeinoddini et al., 2002, Zeinoddini et al., 2008);

Transverse impact tests of clamped steel beams with a rectangular hollow

section (Bambach et al., 2008); and

Transverse impact tests of rectangular clamped steel beams (Yu and Jones,

1991, Yu and Jones, 1997).

Tests were conducted by Zeinoddini et al.(2002). In these tests, the steel tube was one

metre long; it was pre-compressed and then impacted at the midpoint using a drop

weight of 25.45 kg with a falling velocity of about 7 m/s (about 25 km/hour). The

testing rig of the experiment was set up to provide fixed support at one end of each

specimen and sliding support at the other. The tubes were loaded to different levels of

axial compression loads. The test set up is shown in Fig. 3.12 together with the present

ABAQUS model.

78

Lateral spring

Axial spring

Indentor

Steel tube

Figure 3.12: Experimental set up of Zeinoddini et al. (2002) (top) and the numerical model

(bottom).

3.3.1.1.

Model description

As shown in Fig. 3.12, the present numerical model consists of four parts: the steel tube,

the impacting mass, the axial spring and the lateral spring. The steel tube was modelled

using linear three dimensional four-node doubly curved general purpose shell elements

with reduced integration and hourglass control that account for the finite membrane

strains (S4R),(SIMULIA, 2010b). The impacting body was modelled using a three

dimensional eight-node brick element with reduced integration and hourglass control

(C3D8R). The isotropic classical metal plasticity model available in ABAQUS/Explicit

was used for the steel tube with elastic-perfectly plastic stress-strain curve (Zeinoddini

et al., 2002). The density and modulus of elasticity for the steel tube were taken as 7850

kg/m3 and 200000 N/mm2 respectively as specified in the experimental tests

(Zeinoddini et al., 2002). The input yield stress of the steel tube was 500N/mm2 with

Poisson's ratio of 0.3. The density of the impacting body material (Steel EN24) was

adjusted to give a total weight of 25.45 Kg according to the experiments. Because no

79

material failure was encountered during the experiments, no failure modelling was

necessary in this example. Since the tubes were made of high tensile steel which

usually shows very low sensitivity to strain rate (Jones, 1997) no strain rate effect was

considered in the numerical model.

The support condition of the tube was assigned using the BOUNDARY option available

in ABAQUS(SIMULIA, 2010d) by constraining and releasing the corresponding

degrees of freedom at each end. A linear axial spring was used to apply the axial

compressive load, as shown in Fig. 3.12. One of the linear springs ends was linked to a

fixed reference point while the other end was attached to a reference point which was

constrained with the circumference of the sliding end of the tube using the COUPLING

TIE option in ABAQUS(SIMULIA, 2010d). The axial linear spring was introduced to

the sliding end of the tube to account for the decrease in axial force caused by the

movement of this end towards the other end (fixed end) as observed in the tests

(Zeinoddini et al., 2002). A lateral stiffness with a very low stiffness value was also

introduced in the model to account for the friction force of the vertical guide used to

drop the weight (Zeinoddini et al., 2002). One end of the lateral spring was attached to

the impacting body and the other was linked to a fixed reference point as can be seen in

Fig 3.12.

The axial load was applied through the linear spring using a displacement control

approach. The values of the linear spring stiffness and the initial axial displacement

were specified to give the desired axial compressive load. The initial axial displacement

was applied in a smooth amplitude function during the quasi-static analysis step with a

time period equal 0.0025413 second representing the lower natural period of the system,

see Fig. 3.13.

To ensure the quasi-static application of the axial load, the energy histories of the tube

were plotted during the time step at which the axial load was applied as shown in Fig.

3.14. It is clear from this figure that the kinetic energy of the system (KE) during the

quasi-static step is very small compared to the internal energy (IE) and the external

work (WK).

80

2.0E+05

1.6E+05

(P/Py)=0.5

(P/Py)=0.6

(P/Py)=0.7

1.2E+05

8.0E+04

4.0E+04

0.0E+00

0.0000

0.0005

0.0010

0.0016

0.0021

0.0026

Time (Sec.)

Figure 3.13: Smooth amplitude functions used to apply the quasi-static load

1.E+04

WK

Energy (Joule)

8.E+03

6.E+03

4.E+03

IE

2.E+03

0.E+00

0.0000

0.0005

0.0010

0.0016

0.0021

0.0026

Time (Sec.)

Figure 3.14: Energy histories during the quasi-static load application, (P/Py) =0.5.

The contact pair algorithm available in ABAQUS/Explicit was used to simulate the

contact interaction between the impacting mass and the steel tube. Hard contact and

penalty friction formulation were used to describe normal and tangential behaviours

respectively as mechanical interaction properties with the coefficient of fiction was

assumed to be 0.47. Kinematic contact enforcement method was adopted to detect

contact between the two bodies with small sliding formulation.

The experimental results indicated global column failure in the columns with an axial

load value above 65% of the tube squash load (Zeinoddini et al., 2002). In this failure

mode, the column lost its stability and large lateral deformations developed causing the

column to shorten and slide towards the fixed end. For lower axial load ratios, no global

failure occurred but local and plastic deformations and indentations were recorded at the

impact zone (Zeinoddini et al., 2002, Zeinoddini et al., 2008). In the present numerical

81

model, global failure was predicted at axial load ratios greater than 60% of the tube

squash load as shown in Fig. 3.15. For the other axial load values, there was no column

failure, which conforms to the experimental results. Fig. 3.16 compares the recorded

and simulated impact force-time relationships for different axial load ratios. The

recorded and simulation deformation shapes of the column at failure are also shown.

-0.01

-0.02

-0.03

-0.04

(P/Py)= 0

-0.05

(P/Py)= 0.5

-0.06

(P/Py)= 0.6

-0.07

(P/Py)= 0.7

-0.08

0

0.003

0.006

0.009

0.012

0.015

0.018

Time (Sec.)

Figure 3.15: Axial displacement the time history of the impacted steel tube for different axial

load levels.

Experimental results

3.00E+04

P/Py=0

2.50E+04

P/Py=0.5

2.00E+04

P/Py=0.6

1.50E+04

1.00E+04

5.00E+03

P/Py=0.7

0.00E+00

-5.00E+03

0

0.0025

0.005

0.0075

0.01

0.0125

0.015

Time (Sec.)

(A)

(B)

Figure 3.16: (A) Comparison of the contact force; (B) Comparison of the deformation shape for

(P/Py)=0.6; for the tests of Zeinoddini et al (2002)

According to Zenoddini et al. (2002), the viscous damping ratio of the steel tubes was

2.3% and 5% for the first and second natural mode respectively. To investigate the

82

possible effects of damping, three damping ratios (1%, 5% and 10%) were investigated

to cover all possible damping ratios. The Rayleigh mass proportional damping factors

was determined using the procedure described in section 3.2.2.5 as shown in Table

3.2. This value was then introduced in the material behaviour model of the steel tube to

determine the sensitivity of the contact force against the damping effects. Fig. 3.17

shows a comparison of the contact forces generated from the impact at each damping

ratio. It can be observed from this figure that there is only a minor effect from material

damping on the contact force and on the behaviour and failure of the steel tube. This

figure indicates that increasing the damping ratio from 1% to 10% increased the

maximum contact force by about 8%.

Table 3.2: Mass proportional damping factors ( )

Damping ratios( )

0.1

0.05

0.01

46.7

23.35

4.67

3.5E+04

No damping effects

Damping ratio=1%

3.0E+04

Damping ratio=5%

Damping ratio=10%

2.5E+04

2.0E+04

1.5E+04

1.0E+04

5.0E+03

0.0E+00

Time (Sec.)

Figure 3.17: Effects of damping on the contact force history of the steel tube with (P/Py)=0.5

3.3.2.

Bambach et al. (2008) performed tests on 700mm long clamped steel hollow section

size 50SHS impacted laterally by a 600 kg mass falling with a velocity of 6.2 m/s (about

22.32km/h). Fig. 3.18 gives details of the experimental specimen together with the

numerical simulation model. There was no axial load in the specimens.

83

Figure 3.18: Experimental specimen of 50SHS (Bambach et al., 2008) (top) and the numerical

model (bottom).

The material behaviour of the hollow section (C350 steel) were simulated using the

isotropic classical metal plasticity model in conjunction with the progressive ductile

damage and failure model described in section 3.2.2.2 to simulate tensile failure.

Isotropic strain hardening and the strain rate effect were accounted for by utilizing the

stress and strain values provided from the experiment (Bambach et al., 2008). No plastic

behaviour was included in the material behaviour model of the impacting mass and the

supporting gusset plates because they did not show any sign of deformation during the

impact test. The steel density was 7850 kg/m3 and modulus of elasticity 200000 N/mm2.

The engineering yield stress for the beam was 455 N/mm2 and the Poissons ratio was

0.3, (Bambach et al., 2008). The material strain rate sensitivity was taken into account

by employing the Cowper-Symonds equation with D= 40.4 and q=5, (Jones, 1997).

Table 3.3 gives the true stress-strain values.

Table 3.3: Material properties for C350 used in the numerical simulation (Bambach et al., 2008)

Section

dimension

(mm)

50 50 1.6

Beam

length(mm)

True yield

stress N/mm2

True ultimate

stress N/mm2

True failure

strain

700

456

584.64

0.145

The plastic strain at the ductile damage initiation was obtained from the uniaxial tensile

test of the beam material C350 to be

84

performed on the impacted hollow steel beam under the same loading conditions but

using the isotropic classical metal plasticity constitutive model to obtain the values of

maximum stress triaxiality and the strain rate in the steel beam model. The values of

these quantities together with the values of other material failure quantities used in the

present numerical model are shown in Table 3.4.

Table 3.4: Material failure parameters used in the present numerical model

Plastic

strain at

damage

initiation

0.115

Maximum stress

triaxiality

(sce-1)

f pl

u f (m)

0.7

14.2

0.145

0.000291

pl

Since the mass and stiffness of the impacting body are much higher than the mass and

stiffness of the impacted beam, the mesh size was refined at the impact zone to prevent

the impactor surface from penetrating the steel column surface as discussed in section

3.2.2.3 of this chapter. According to the mesh size used in the numerical model for this

test, the value of the characteristic length L was assumed to be 2 mm.

3.3.2.3. Simulation results

Table 3.5 and Fig. 3.19 compare the experimental and the numerical simulation results

in terms of the peak contact force (Table 3.5) and the failure mode (Fig. 3.19). Table 3.5

indicates a close correlation for the peak contact force and Fig. 3.19 shows an accurate

simulation of the complete tensile tearing failure of the beam section at the supports.

Table 3.5: Comparison of contact force between the experimental results and the numerical

simulation

Source of results

Experimental Result (Bambach et al., 2008)

Present numerical results

40.5kN

45kN

Figure 3.19: Deformation shape and tensile fracture at the supports at 20 ms after impact. Top:

experimental result (Bambach et al., 2008). Bottom: numerical simulation

85

Fig. 3.20 plots the damage initiation criterion profiles at different times and shows that

the damage initiation criterion was satisfied at the supports only by reaching the

maximum value of 1. Fig. 3.21 compares the damage evolution between the supports

and the impact point. While the impact region experienced higher damage initially due

to direct contact, the supports experienced a drastic increase in damage due to the lateral

deformation of the structural member inducing a large axial tensile stress at around 8

ms.

1

t=4msec

t=8msec

t=12msec

t=16msec

t=20msec

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0

0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

Figure 3.20: Ductile damage initiation profile history along the top surface of the beam

1

At the impact point

At the supports

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0

0

0.004

0.008

0.012

0.016

0.02

Time ( Sec.)

Figure 3.21: Ductile damage initiation at the support and at the point of impact

From the comparisons between the experimental and simulation results, it can be

concluded that the damage initiation and failure criteria have been employed correctly

in the present model to simulate material failure under tension.

86

3.3.3.

Shear failure

Experiments were conducted by Yu and Jones (1991) on two mild steel beams with a

solid rectangular cross-section, clamped ends and 101.6 mm in clear span, see Table

3.6. The clamped length of each end was 50.8 mm to ensure full fixity of the supports.

The two steel beams were impacted transversely at distances and velocities shown in

Table 3.6 by a rigid mass of 5kg.

Table 3.6: Technical details of the impact test (Yu and Jones, 1991)

Beam

No. in

the test

SB07

Width,

B mm

Thickness,

H mm

Impact

location*

mm

Impact velocity

m/sec

Failure

condition

6.2

10.17

25.4

8.8

SB08

6.2

10.13

49.9

10.6

Just broken

Crack and

sever necking

The ABAQUS brick element C3D8R was used, as in previous models, to simulate both

the solid beams and the impacting body. The element size for the beam was selected to

be 2.5 mm based on the mesh sensitivity check shown in the simulation results. As

shown in Fig. 3.22, the size of the elements was reduced near the impact zone and the

supports to be 0.5 and 1 mm respectively to ensure an accurate simulation of nonlinear

behaviour, contact interaction and shear failure path as discussed earlier.

SBO7

SB08

H

Figure 3.22: Numerical model and mesh size of the steel beams with a close-up view of the

mesh at the impact point.

87

Fig. 3.23 shows the true stress-strain relationship of the mild steel recorded from the

experimental test (Yu and Jones, 1991). The classical metal (Mises) plasticity model

available in ABAQUS/Explicit was used to simulate the material behaviour with

isotropic strain hardening and strain rate effects. The strain rate effects were described

by employing the Cowper-Symonds equation with material parameters D=1.05 107 s-1

and q = 8.3 (Yu and Jones, 1991, Yu and Jones, 1997). The values of D and q have been

chosen by Liu and Jones to describe the strain rate-sensitive behaviour of the steel

material to fit the true stress- strain curve recorded from the experimental tests for

different strain rates (Yu and Jones, 1991, Yu and Jones, 1997). The same contact

interaction model as in the previous simulations was used to simulate the contact

between the rigid mass and the solid beam except that, in the current model, the

tangential behaviour of the contact was assumed to be frictionless, based on the

experimental observation that slipping occurred during the tests between the impacting

mass and the steel beam at the impact zone (Yu and Jones, 1991). Other properties

(steel density, modulus of elasticity and Poissons ratio) were the same as in previous

simulations.

8.0E+08

Damage initiation

6.5E+08

Damage propagation

5.0E+08

3.5E+08

Spl = 0.17

fpl = 0.83

2.0E+08

0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

Plastic strain

Figure 3.23: True stress-true strain curve of steel plastic (Yu and Jones, 1991)

3.3.3.2. Modelling of shear failure

For this exercise, the damage initiation criterion was described in terms of the

equivalent plastic strain at the onset of shear damage ( S ). Table 3.7 presents the

pl

88

Table 3.7: Material failure parameters used in the present numerical model

Plastic

strain at

damage

initiation

Maximum

shear stress

ratio

Maximum strain

rate (sce-1)

f pl

u f (m)

0.172

1.8

120

0.83

0.000415

pl

A mesh sensitive analysis was carried out firstly to select the optimum mesh sizes at the

impact zone, the supports and the rest of the beam as shown in Fig. 3.22. Fig. 3.24

compares the numerical maximum transverse displacement history at the impact point

of steel beam SB07 with the experimental test results for different mesh sizes. It can be

seen from this figure that the transverse displacement history of the impacted beam is

more sensitive to the mesh size at the impact zone and the support than to the rest of the

beam since most stresses and deformations occurred at these locations. Differences in

numerical simulation results are small for the different mesh sizes used, confirming that

the numerical simulation results are not mesh sensitive. Excellent matching can be seen

between the experimental results and the numerical results corresponding to the mesh

sizes shown in Fig. 3.22 (0.5mm and 1mm at impact zone and the supports respectively

and 2.5 at the rest of the beam). The maximum displacement in both results was

16.2mm and both histories indicate that no failure was experienced in the beam. The

maximum transverse displacement was either maintained constantly after 3 msec. as in

(m)

1.8E-02

Experimetal results

1.5E-02

ABAQUS results

Impact zone=0.5mm,

supports=1mm, the rest=2.5mm

Impact zone=1mm,

supports=2mm, the rest=2.5mm

Impact zone=2.5mm,

supports=2.5mm, the rest=2.5mm

Impact zone=5mm,

supports=5mm, others=5mm

Impact zone=1mm,

supports=2mm,the rest=5mm

1.2E-02

9.0E-03

6.0E-03

3.0E-03

0.0E+00

0.E+00 1.E-03

2.E-03 3.E-03

4.E-03 5.E-03

Time (Sec.)

Figure 3.24: Comparison of the displacement at the impact point of the steel beam SB07

between the experimental results (Yu and Jones, 1991) and the present numerical simulation

89

Fig. 3.25 shows the deformed shapes of the steel specimen SB08 after complete shear

failure from both the test and the present numerical simulation. Good agreement can be

seen between the two shapes in terms of the location and angle of the shear failure

surface. In fact, correlation between the results is highly satisfying. Table 3.8 compares

the maximum permanent transverse deformation of the same beam between the present

numerical results, the experimental results of Yu and Jones (1991) and the numerical

results of Yu and Jones which did not incorporate failure simulation (Yu and Jones,

1997). Fig. 3.26 further compares the axial normal strain of the steel beam SB08

underneath the impact point obtained by the present numerical model with that recorded

experimentally by Yu and Jones (1991). Excellent agreement can be noticed throughout.

This exercise can be used to confirm the accuracy and efficiency of the present

numerical model to simulate shear failure mode.

Figure 3.25: Comparison of the deformation shape of the steel specimen SB08 after shear

failure between the experimental test (Yu and Jones, 1991) (top) and the numerical simulation

(bottom).

Table 3.8: Comparison of the maximum transverse displacement of the steel specimen SB08

between the results from the present numerical simulation with the experimental results, (Yu

and Jones, 1991) and the numerical simulation results, (Yu and Jones, 1997)

Experiment,

Numerical, no

Numerical,

Quantity

(Yu and

failure criteria,(Yu

present study

Jones, 1991)

and Jones, 1997)

maximum permanent transverse

21.8

21.26

21.5

deformation (mm)

90

5.E-02

Experimental results

4.E-02

3.E-02

2.E-02

1.E-02

0.E+00

0.E+00

8.E-05

2.E-04

2.E-04

3.E-04

4.E-04

Time ( sec.)

Figure 3.26: Comparison of axial strain of steel specimen SB08 on the lower surface underneath

the striker between the experimental results of Yu and Jones (1991) and the present numerical

simulation results

Fig. 3.27 plots the numerical results of the shear damage initiation criterion profiles

along the beam length at the top and bottom surfaces. At the mid span where the shear

fracture occurred, the shear damage initiation criterion was satisfied for both surfaces; at

the supports, shear failure had started but had not progressed through the entire section.

This behaviour agrees with the experimental observation.

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0

0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

Figure 3.27: Shear damage initiation profile at the top and bottom surfaces of the beam of the

steel specimen SB08 along its length

91

Finally, Fig. 3.28 plots the stress-strain behaviour of a failed element at the impact zone

of the steel beam specimen B08. As clearly shown in the figure, the material behaviour

of the failed element follows the full failure initiation and propagation mechanism

defined in the material behaviour model of the steel element shown in Fig. 3.23.

Input curve

8.E+08

6.E+08

Stress (N/m )

Damage initiation

Damage propagation

4.E+08

2.E+08

Spl = 0.17

fpl = 0.83

0.E+00

0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

Plastic Strain

Figure 3.28: Stress-strain behaviour of a failed element at the impact zone showing damage

initiation and propagation of the element.

3.4.

Summary

to simulate the behaviour and failure of structural members under transverse impact. To

confirm the correct implementation of the simulation methodology, the present analysis

has been compared with three series of published experimental impact tests.

Comparisons have been made for a variety of quantities, including contact force, axial

displacement, transverse displacement, failure modes, deformation shape, axial strain

and stress-strain of a damaged element.

The following conclusions can be extracted from this chapter:

a) It may be accepted that the present ABAQUS/Explicit model with the associated

element and material behaviour and failure models is capable of simulating the

behaviour and different failure modes of axially compressed columns under

transverse impact.

92

the static force effect.

c) The results presented in this chapter may be considered to have provided an

extensive body of evidence that ABAQUS/Explicit is capable of modelling

axially loaded columns under transverse impact and that this model has been

correctly implemented in the current research.

d) It has been proven numerically that damping has only a minor effect on the

response and contact force of pre-compressed columns subjected to transverse

impact load (see Fig. 3.17). This conclusion has also been reached by other

researchers (Zeinoddini et al., 2008, Thilakarathna et al., 2010).

93

Chapter Four

A Parametric Study of the Behaviour and Failure Modes of

Axially Loaded Steel Columns Subjected to a Rigid Mass

Impact

4.1. Introduction

An important objective of this research is to develop a thorough understanding of the

effects of different parameters on the response and failure modes of axially compressed

steel columns under transverse impact. This can then enable simple methods of analysis

to be developed so that complicated numerical analyses such as the ones employed in

this research may be dispensed with within the practical design procedure. On the other

hand, simplifying assumptions will be necessary when developing any design

calculation method, and it is important that such assumptions are based on a

comprehensive understanding of the effects of different parameters on column

behaviour and failure modes such that the limitations of these assumptions are clearly

defined.

This chapter presents the results of an extensive parametric study to investigate the

effects of several parameters on the response of axially loaded steel columns under

transverse impact by a rigid mass. The chapter intends to provide results, based on

which simplifying assumptions can be made for column behaviour under impact.

Chapter six will use these assumptions to develop appropriate design calculation

methods.

4.2.

Parametric study

The following six important parameters have been identified for investigation in the

parametric study presented in this chapter:

a) The impact velocity;

b) The impact location;

c) The impact direction;

d) The axial compressive load ratio;

94

f) The column slenderness ratio (section size and column length).

The following will describe in detail the numerical models for the steel column and the

impacting mass.

4.2.1. Steel columns

The parametric study used simply supported and propped cantilever H-section steel

columns designed according to the British Standard BS 5950: Part 1:2000 (BS, 2001) to

resist the total loads shown in Table 4.1. These loads represent the approximate total

axial compressive loads exerted on interior ground floor columns of 10 and 5 storeys

respectively of typical commercial steel buildings. To account for the slenderness effect,

two column lengths and sections were used. Table 4.1 lists the columns dimensions and

load carrying properties.

Relative

Column

length

Slenderness

Column section

(m)

ratio ( kL ) z z

r

slenderness

Boundary

Fy

condition

z z =

kL

r

Design axial

compressive

load (kN)

UC

51.50

0.68

S.S

3800

36.05

0.476

Prop

4250

UC

76.9

1.02

S.S

6800

53.85

0.711

Prop

9400

The steel was assumed to be of grade S355 and the steel modulus of elasticity was

assumed to be 206000 N/mm2. The transverse impact load was mainly applied to cause

bending about the weak (minor) direction (z-z axis) of the steel column, which is

assumed to represent the most critical situation for design purposes. This assumption

has been confirmed in a separate parametric study in this chapter investigating the

effects of column impact from different directions.

95

4.2.1.1.

Modelling properties

The solid element offered by ABAQUS/Explicit with reduced integration and hourglass

control C3D8R was used to model the geometrical behaviour of the steel column. To

achieve the required accuracy of the simulation, the thickness of both flanges and the

web of the column H-section were divided into four layers as shown in Fig 4.1 to

overcome the problems that could be raised from using the first order and the reduced

integration formulation of this element (SIMULIA, 2010b).

(A)

(B)

Figure 4.1: Meshing technique used for the steel column: A) Longitudinal direction; B) Cross

sectional direction for two steel column sections.

The material behaviour of the steel was modelled using an isotropic classical metal

plasticity model taking into account strain hardening and strain rate effects. The strain

rate effect was described by employing the Cowper-Symonds equation with material

parameters of D=40.4 s-1 and q=5 (Jones, 1997). The progressive damage and failure

model was used to account for the possibility of developing shear failure mode in the

steel column with the values of damage initiation criteria shown in Table 4.2. These

values were selected according to the uniaxial tensile test of S350 material shown in

Fig. 4.2. Other material failure quantities such maximum shear stress ratio, and

maximum strain rate were determined from a nonlinear finite element analysis carried

out before this simulation and these are presented in Table 4.2. It should be mentioned

that because this parametric study considered only columns with free axial movement,

tensile tearing failure is not likely to happen. Therefore, Table 4.2 only gives properties

for simulating transverse shear failure.

96

8.0E+08

7.0E+08

6.0E+08

5.0E+08

4.0E+08

Spl = 0.295

3.0E+08

fpl = 0.65

2.0E+08

0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.7

Plastic strain

Figure 4.2: Assumed true stress-strain curve used to simulate S355 material behaviour in the

parametric study.

Table 4.2: Material shear failure parameters for S355 steel used in the parametric study

Plastic strain at damage

Maximum shear

-1

f pl

u f (m)

0.65

0.0065

initiation

stress ratio

(sec )

0.295

1.85

16.5

pl

The axial compressive load was applied on the steel column as a pressure load

distributed over the cross section area using the quasi-static analysis procedure

described in chapter three. The quasi-static analysis step was then followed by an

explicit dynamic step during which the rigid mass impacted the steel column at the

specified impact velocity and location by generating the contact interaction between the

mass and the steel column. The BOUNDARY option was used to specify the columns

supporting condition by constraining and releasing the associated degree of freedom at

each columns end.

The sensitivity of the numerical simulation results against the column elements size

was firstly examined by determining the columns minimum natural frequencies and

minimum buckling loads for different element sizes using the linear perturbation

analysis procedure available in ABAQUS (SIMULIA, 2010c) of UC 356 406 340 and

UC 305 305 118 columns with total lengths of 8 and 4 metres respectively. The

numerical values are compared with the corresponding theoretical values (Timoshenko,

1961) as listed in Table 4.3. It can be seen that the element sizes shown in Table 4.3 are

all appropriate for the static and global behaviour simulation of the columns.

97

Table 4.3: Sensitivity of some static and dynamic results against the element size of the simply

supported column model

UC 356 406 340, L= 8m

P(buckling)

Frequency

P(buckling)

Frequency

(Numer./Theor.)

(Numer./Theor.)

(Numer./Theor)

250

1.042693

1.190373

1.022045

1.054492

100

1.022265

1.045299

1.002676

1.013019

50

1.015226

1.031459

0.989474

0.988686

40

1.013849

1.028637

0.991444

0.992004

(Numer./Theor)

Afterwards, the effect of mesh size along the web height and over the flange length on

column behaviour was also verified by changing the number of divisions for each part

and plotting the corresponding column displacement histories. Fig. 4.3 (A and B) shows

the sensitivity of the results to each element size. It can be observed from this figure that

the column lateral displacement is more sensitive to the number of elements used for the

flange width than the web height. Dividing the flange width into 12 divisions gives

reasonable results compared to 18 divisions while element numbers along the web

height did not affect the results. This can be attributed to the direction of bending.

Therefore 12 and 10 divisions were used as minimum values for the flange width and

the web height respectively as previously shown in Fig.4.1

98

point (m)

0

-0.2

-0.4

-0.6

-0.8

-1

0.03

0.04

0.05

0.06

0.07

0.08

Time (Sec.)

Element size

No. of divisions=6

No. of divisions=12

No. of divisions=8

No. of divisions=18

point (m)

(A)

0

-0.2

-0.4

-0.6

-0.8

-1

0.03

0.04

Element size

0.05

0.06

0.07

0.08

Time (Sec.)

No. of divisions=10

No. of divisions=12

No. of divisions=15

No. of divisions=16

(B)

Figure 4.3: Sensitivity of the column behaviour to the mesh size of (A) the flange; and (B) the

web, for a simply supported column section UC 305 305 118, P=50%PDesign, Impacting

mass=6 tonnes, V=40 km/h.

On the other hand, to gain an accurate simulation of the contact interaction between the

column and the impacting mass and to reasonably predict the local damage at the impact

zone, the mesh size must be reduced properly at the impact zone. To achieve the

optimum mesh size along the impact zone in addition to the rest of the column, a

sensitivity analysis was carried out and Figs. 4.4 and 4.5 plot the time history of the

columns longitudinal movement, the shear damage evolution and the lateral movement

at the impact point respectively for each element size. It can be seen from these figures

99

that a mesh size corresponding to 25600 elements for the steel column section UC

305 305 118 and 38845 elements for the steel column UC 356 406 340 (10 mm

within one meter of the impact point and 50 mm for the rest of the column) can be

adopted. Fig 4.6 shows such a mesh.

support (m)

0

-0.2

-0.4

-0.6

-0.8

-1

0.08

0.11

0.14

0.18

0.21

0.25

0.28

Time (Sec.)

(A)

0.5

0.4

0.3

0.2

0.1

0

0.08

0.11

0.14

0.18

0.21

0.25

0.28

Time (Sec.)

(B)

Element size

At the impact zone: 150 mm, other parts: 250 mm.

Figure 4.4: Sensitivity of the column axial displacement history, V=40 km/h (A) and the shear

damage history at the impact point; V=60 km/h (B) for different mesh sizes, column section UC

356 406 340, P=50%PDesign, Impacting mass=6 tonnes.

100

0

-0.2

-0.4

-0.6

-0.8

-1

0.03

Mesh size

0.04

0.05

0.07

0.08

0.09

0.11

Time (Sec.)

At the impact zone: 25 mm, other parts: 75 mm.

At the impact zone: 10 mm, other parts: 50 mm.

At the impact zone: 5 mm, other parts: 25 mm.

At the impact zone: 15 mm, other parts: 50 mm.

At the impact zone: 8 mm, other parts: 40 mm.

Figure 4.5: Sensitivity of the column lateral displacement history at the impact point for

different mesh sizes, column section UC 305 305 118, P=50%PDesign, Impacting mass=6

tonnes, V=40 km/h.

Figure 4.6: A close-up view of the element size of the steel column model adopted in the

parametric study

Since the current study aims to investigate the behaviour and failure modes of axially

loaded steel columns under transverse impact, the emphasis will be on the column side

rather than the impactor side. Nevertheless, a brief description of the impartor properties

is required.

101

The impactor was assumed to be rigid mass with a cubic section of a dimensions

(0.5 1.5 0.3) m as shown in Fig. 4.7.

1.5m

0.5 m

0.3 m

Figure 4.7: Shape and dimensions of the impactor used in the parametric study

Solid elements C3D8R were used to model the impactor body while its modulus of

elasticity was selected to make it behave as an almost rigid body so that all the kinetic

energy of the impact would be absorbed by the steel column without any contribution

from the impactor. On the other hand, the density of the impactor was adjusted to give

the required masses. The mesh size of the impactor was selected to be 100mm which

was intended to be larger than what was specified for the steel column at the impact

point (10mm) to prevent penetration of the master surface into the slave surface

(SIMULIA, 2010d), see Fig. 4.7 . The impact velocity was assigned to the mass as an

initial

boundary

condition

using

the

PREDEFINED

FIELD

option

in

ABAQUS/Explicit.

4.2.3. Modelling of contact

The contact pair algorithm discussed in chapter three was used to simulate the contact

interaction between the steel column and the impacting mass. The surface of the

impacting mass involved in the contact was defined in the numerical model as the

master surface while the steel column surface was considered the slave surface as

shown in Fig. 4.8. Hard contact was used to describe normal behaviour while the

penalty friction formulation was used for the tangential behaviour with a coefficient of

friction of 0.6 based on the nature of the contacted surfaces. The kinematic contact

enforcement method was also adopted in the contact model to detect the contact

between the two bodies with a small sliding formulation.

102

Master surface

Slave surface

Figure 4.8: Defining the master and slave surfaces in the numerical model

Table 4.4 lists the values of the parameters used in the numerical simulations. The

impact velocities shown in the table may represent the average velocities of vehicles

passing through urban, residential and commercial areas. The different weights may

represent those of a typical car, a light truck and a lorry and the associated impact

locations represent the possible location at which each vehicle type struck the column.

Table 4.4: Parameters used in the numerical parametric study

Design Case

(P/PDesign)%

Impacting mass

Impact velocity

(tonnes)

(km/h)

1.0 for Mass =1.0 and

L=4 m, UC

0, 0.3, 0.5,

and 0.7

20, 40 and 80

3.0 tonnes

1.5 for Mass = 3.0 and

6.0 tonnes

1.0 for Mass =1.0 and

L=8 m, UC

0, 0.3, 0.5,

and 0.7

20, 40 and 80

3.0 tonnes

2 for Mass = 3.0 and

6.0 tonnes

Tables 4.5 to 4.8 present the failure modes for the two different column sizes and

boundary conditions. It can be seen from these tables that global plastic buckling was

the predominant failure mode except for the one case corresponding to the most heavily

loaded (0.7PDesign) stocky column (4m, UC 305 305 118) subjected to the heaviest

mass impacting at the highest velocity of 80 km/h. This indicates that although shear

103

damage may occur to axially compressed steel columns under lateral impact, the

simulated scenario is unlikely to occur as it represents the very rare case of high impact

velocity/high impact mass/high axial load. In addition, it has been noticed that for this

particular case, it is most likely that shear failure occurred simultaneously with or just

before global buckling failure of the column. Therefore, this mode of failure (shear

failure) may be ignored when developing an analytical approach for quantifying the

critical failure conditions of steel columns in buildings located in urban areas.

Table 4.5: Failure modes for a simply supported column section UC 356 406 340

L=8m, Impact Location =1m

20

40

80

20

40

80

Mass

Mass

Mass

Mass

Mass

Mass

(tonnes)

(tonnes)

(tonnes)

(tonnes)

(tonnes)

(tonnes)

G

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

G

G

N

N

G

N

N

N

G

G

G

N

G

G

G

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

G

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

G

G

N

N

N

N

N

N

(P/PDesign)%

0.7

0.5

0.3

0

Table 4.6: Failure modes for a propped cantilever column section UC 356 406 340

L=8m, Impact location =2 m

20

40

80

20

40

80

Mass

Mass

Mass

Mass

Mass

Mass

(tonnes)

(tonnes)

(tonnes)

(tonnes)

(tonnes)

(tonnes)

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

G

G

N

N

N

N

N

N

G

G

N

N

G

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

(P/PDesign)%

0.7

0.5

0.3

0

104

Table 4.7: Failure modes for a simply supported column section UC 305 305 118

L=4m Impact Location 1.5 m

(P/PDesign)

20

40

80

20

40

80

Mass (tonnes)

Mass (tonnes)

Mass (tonnes)

Mass (tonnes)

Mass (tonnes)

Mass (tonnes)

0.7

G+FD

G+FD

G+FD

0.5

G+FD

G+FD

G+FD

G+FD

G+FD G+FD

G+FD G+FD

G+FD

G+FD G+FD

0.3

G+FD

G+FD G+FD

G+FD

G+FD G+FD

G=Global plastic failure, S =Shear failure, N=No failure, G+FD=Global plastic failure + local flange distortion

Table 4.8: Failure modes for a propped cantilever column section UC 305 305 118

L=4m Impact Location 1.5 m

(P/PDesign)

20

40

80

20

40

80

Mass (tonnes)

Mass (tonnes)

Mass (tonnes)

Mass (tonnes)

Mass (tonnes)

Mass (tonnes)

0.7

G+FD

0.5

G+FD

0.3

FD

G+FD

G+FD

G+FD G+FD

G+FD

G+FD

G+FD

G+FD

G+FD

G=Global plastic failure, S =Shear failure, N=No failure, G+FD=Global plastic failure + local flange distortion

For column section UC 305 305 118, Tables 4.7 and 4.8 indicate that global plastic

buckling was the predominant failure mode for the two boundary conditions used in the

simulation, but it was accompanied by local distortion in the flanges at the impact zone,

, see Fig. 4.9. This figure also shows that the severity of the flange distortion increases

with increasing axial load. However, a detailed examination of column behaviour from

the simulation models in terms of the deformed shape at different time intervals after the

impact (see Fig. 4.10) confirms that flange distortion occurred after column global

instability. For example, Fig. 4.11 presents the axial displacement - time history for

three columns. Rapid acceleration of deformation of the columns at about t= 45msec

and t= 90msec for simply supported columns and t= 45msec for the propped cantilever

column indicates onset of column failure. Fig. 4.10 shows the deformed shapes of these

three columns, indicating no significant local flange distortion at the corresponding

105

times. This suggests that local flange distortion is a result, not the cause, of column

global failure. Analysing column behaviour without considering local flange distortion

would considerably simplify the analytical model.

Flange distortion

(P/PDesign)=70%

(P/PDesign) =50%

(P/PDesign)=30%

Flange distortion

(P/PDesign)=70%

(P/PDesign)=50%

(P/PDesign)=30%

Flange distortion

(P/PDesign)=70%

(P/PDesign)=50%

(P/PDesign)=30%

Figure 4.9: Local flange distortion at the impact zone for the section UC305 305 118.

106

t=0 msec

t=15 msec

t=30 msec

t=45 msec

t=60 msec

(A)

t=0 msec

t=30 msec

t=60 msec

t=90 msec

t=105 msec

(B)

t=0 msec

t=15 msec

t=30 msec

t=45msec

t=60 msec

(C)

Figure 4.10: Deformed shape history of the columns. (A): a simply supported section UC

305 305 118, Impact location= 1.0 m, P/P Design =0.5, Impact mass =1 tonnes, Impact velocity

=80 km/h; (B): a simply supported section UC 305 305 118, Impact location= 1.5 m, P/P

Design =0.7, Impact mass =3 tonnes, Impact velocity =20 km/h; (C) a propped cantilever section

UC 305 305 118, Impact location= 1.5 m, P/P Design =0.7, Impact mass =6 tonnes, Impact

velocity =40 km/h

107

0

-0.2

-0.4

P/PDesig=0.5, V=80 km/h,

n

Impact

location = 1m

-0.6

n

Impact

location = 1.5m

-0.8

n

Impact

location = 1.5m

-1

0.00

0.02

0.04

0.06

0.08

0.10

0.12

Time (Sec.)

Figure 4.11: The axial displacement history for the columns in Fig. 4.10

Figs. 4.12 to 4.14 show the shear damage profiles along the column height for the

simply supported and propped cantilever columns that are most vulnerable to shear

failure due to high impacting mass and velocity (Yu and Jones, 1991, Jones, 1997). It

can be seen that, apart from two cases which have shown a high tendency to local shear

failure (Fig. 4.12(A) and Fig. 4.13(B)), the damage initiation criteria were lower than

1.0. For the propped cantilever column, (see Fig. 4.14), it can be observed that the shear

damage criterion at the fixed support is greater than that at the impact point due to the

high stresses developed but the damage criteria is still below the failure limit. It is

apparent from these figures that the transverse shear failure is unlikely to occur in the

transversely impacted steel column when the transverse impact speed is within the range

of low to intermediate velocities.

1

(P/P Design )=50%

(P/P Design )=70%

0.8

Damage criterion

Damage criterion

0.6

0.4

0.2

(P/PDesign )=0%

(P/PDesign )=30%

(P/PDesign )=50%

(P/PDesign )=70%

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0

0

2

Figure 4.12: The shear damage initiation criterion profile along the column length for a simply

supported column section UC 356 406 340, impact velocity = 80km/h

108

1

0.8

Damage criterion

Damage criterion

(P/PDesign )= 50%

(P/PDesign )=70%

0.6

0.4

0.2

0

0.8

0.6

(P/P

Design)=0%

(P/P

Design)=30%

(P/P

Design)=50%

(P/P

Design)=70%

0.4

0.2

0

1.5

2.5

3.5

1.5

2.5

3.5

Figure 4.13: The shear damage initiation criterion profile along the column length for a simply

supported column section UC305 305 118, impact velocity = 80km/h

1

(P/P Design )=50%

(P/P Design )=70%

0.8

Damage criterion

Damage criterion

0.6

0.4

0.2

(P/PDesign )=0%

(P/PDesign )=30%

(P/PDesign )=50%

(P/PDesign )=70%

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0

0

2

1.5

2.5

3.5

Figure 4.14: The shear damage initiation criterion profile along the column length for propped

cantilever columns and impact velocity = 80km/h; A) section UC356 406 340; B) section

UC305 305 118

The most simplistic analytical method for columns subjected to transverse impact loads

would be to assume quasi-static behaviour. This approach is based on the energy

balance principle and the most important parameter for the impactor is its kinetic

energy. To investigate this assumption, the numerical simulations considered a constant

level of impact energy but different combinations of impacting mass and velocity. Figs.

4.15 and 4.16 present the simply supported and propped cantilever column behaviour.

Each figure shows the column displacement histories for two different levels of impact

kinetic energy (KE).

It can be noticed from Figs. 4.15 and 4.16 that in both levels of impact kinetic energy,

the deformation behaviour of the same column under the same level of external impact

energy but with different combinations of impact mass and velocity are different. Both

figures indicate that a smaller velocity with a higher mass tends to give more severe

109

column would fail (which is the most important design decision) appears not to be very

sensitive to the different values of the impact mass and velocity as long as the external

impact energy is the same. For example, in Fig. 4.15(A), for the simply supported

column, the impact energy of 80 KJ was about 70% of the critical impact energy to

cause column failure. Therefore, none of the columns experienced failure. In contrast, in

Fig. 4.15(B), the impact energy of 117 KJ was at the level of the critical impact energy

of the column. All cases indicate column failure even though the case with the highest

velocity, 55km/hour, took a longer time for the column to reach failure. The same

behaviour can be observed in Fig. 4.16 which represents the same column section but

with a fixed support at the column base (propped cantilever).

0.4

E=80 KJ, Mass= 2tonnes, V=32.2km/h

E=80 KJ, Mass= 3tonnes, V=26.3km/h

E=80 KJ, Mass= 4tonnes, V=22.8km/h

E=80 KJ, Mass= 6tonnes, V=18.6km/h

0.32

0.24

0.16

0.08

0

0.03

0.06

0.10

0.14

0.18

0.22

Time (Sec.)

(A) P=50% of PDesign, KE=80 KJ

1.5

1.2

E117KJ, Mass=1tonnes,

V=55 km/h

E117KJ, Mass=2tonnes,

V=39 km/h

E117KJ, Mass=3tonnes,

V=32 km/h

0.9

0.6

E117KJ, Mass=4tonnes,

V=28 km/h

E117KJ, Mass=6tonnes,

V=22.5 km/h

0.3

0

0.03

0.07

0.12

0.17

0.22

0.27

Time (Sec.)

(B) P=50% of PDesign, KE =117 KJ

Figure 4.15: Behaviour of the simply supported column (section UC 305 305 118, L=4m,

impact location = 1m) under the same impact energy but with different combinations of

impactor mass and velocity.

110

0.25

0.2

Mass=3tonnes, V=28 km/h

Mass=4tonnes, V=24.24 km/h

Mass=6tonnes, V=19.8 km/h

0.15

0.1

0.05

0

0.02

0.04

0.06

0.09

0.11

0.14

Time (Sec.)

(A) P=70% of PDesign, KE=90.74 KJ

0.8

0.6

Mass=2tonnes, V=39.2

km/h

Mass=3tonnes, V=32

km/h

Mass=4tonnes, V=27.2

km/h

Mass=22.6tonnes,

V=25.54 km/h

0.4

0.2

0

0.02

0.06

0.11

0.15

0.20

0.24

Time (Sec.)

(B) P=70% of PDesign, KE =118.5 KJ

Figure 4.16: Behaviour of the propped cantilever column (section UC 305 305 118, L=4m,

impact location = 1.5 m) under the same impact energy but with different combinations of

impactor mass and velocity

The effect of impact energy on column failure may be confirmed by studying the

change in the kinetic energy of the column. Fig. 4.17 presents the total kinetic energy

histories of the whole structural system, including both the column and the impactor, for

the columns subjected to the critical impact energy (117 KJ) but with different

combinations of impactor mass and velocity under an axial compressive load of 50% of

the design load. From this figure it can be seen that, for all combinations, the total

kinetic energy decreases after impact due to increasing strain energy in the column.

111

After reaching the minimum value, the total kinetic energy increases. This increase is

caused by the accelerated movement of the column, indicating the column is losing its

stability.

After impact, if the column is stable, the kinetic energy of the system will become zero

when both the column and the impactor come to rest. In contrast, if the column fails

after impact, then the column will accelerate in deformation and the kinetic energy will

increase. For the column, at the critical situation, its kinetic energy will decrease to zero

but will then increase. The energy histories of these three situations are exemplified in

Fig. 4.18. According to the trend shown in Fig. 4.18, the results in Fig. 4.17 suggest that

only one column was at the critical situation while all the other columns lost global

stability without coming to rest. The difference in behaviour of these columns is mainly

due to the different amounts of energy absorption of these columns as a result of their

difference in deformation pattern under different combinations of impacting mass and

velocity (thus different momentum when keeping the impact energy the same).

Nevertheless, the minimum total kinetic energies of these columns were only a small

fraction of the initial total kinetic energy. Therefore, it may be accepted that the column

deformation patterns are very similar. This will lead to considerable simplification to

aid the development of an analytical model for the calculation of the critical velocity of

impact that will just cause the column to fail.

2.0E+05

1.6E+05

1.2E+05

E=117KJ, Mass=2tonnes, V=39km/h

E=117KJ, Mass=3tonnes, V=32km/h

E=117KJ, Mass=4tonnes, V=28km/h

E=117KJ, Mass=6tonnes, V=22.5km/h

8.0E+04

4.0E+04

0.0E+00

0.03

0.07

0.12

0.17

0.21

0.26

Time (Sec.)

Figure 4.17: The kinetic energy history of the axially loaded simply supported steel column

(section UC 305 305 118, L=4 m, impact location =1m, P/PDesign=50%, Impact energy =

117KJ).

112

2.0E+05

E=139 KJ, over failure energy

1.6E+05

1.2E+05

8.0E+04

4.0E+04

0.0E+00

0

0.05

0.1

0.15

0.2

0.25

Time (Sec.)

Figure 4.18: Comparison of the total kinetic energy history of the columns without failure, at the

critical condition, with clear failures

4.2.4.3. Critical impact velocity

establish the axial force - critical impact velocity relationship for a given column section

and length. Here, the critical velocity is defined as the minimum impact velocity that

causes the column to fail. This critical velocity is of particular interest in the design of

columns to transverse impact. Fig. 4.19 shows examples of column mid-height

displacement versus time relationship under different impact speeds and these were

used to obtain the critical velocity.

Mid span displecement (m)

0.6

0.5

V = 20 km/h

V = 40 km/h

V = 50 km/h

V = 55 km/h

V = 60 km/h

V =70 km/h

0.4

0.3

0.2

0.1

0

0

0.04

0.08

0.12

0.16

0.2

Time (Sec.)

Figure 4.19: Column mid-height deformation history under different impact speeds, steel

column height L=4 m, Impact mass= 1 tonnes, P/PDesign=50%, impact position =1m, for a simply

support column

113

From this figure, it can be noticed that the column remains stable for velocities up to 50

km/hour. But the column fails at a velocity of 55 km/h or above. To confirm this, Fig.

4.20 compares the corresponding energy histories for the different terms of energy

between impact velocities of 55 km/h and 50 km/h. For the case of 55 km/h, the kinetic

energy increases drastically from about 0.20s, indicating rapid movement (instability) of

the structure (Fig.4.20-A), while at the velocity of 50 km/h, there is no column

movement after about 0.06s so the kinetic energy maintains at zero (stability) (Fig.4.20B).

2.5E+05

Energy (Joule)

2.0E+05

1.5E+05

1.0E+05

5.0E+04

0.0E+00

0.03

0.07

0.12

0.17

0.21

0.26

Time (Sec.)

(A)

1.6E+05

Energy (Joule)

1.3E+05

9.6E+04

6.4E+04

3.2E+04

0.0E+00

0.03

0.07

0.12

0.16

0.21

0.25

Time (Sec.)

(B)

Kinetic energy (KE)

Strain energy(SE)

Total energy(ETOTAL)

Figure 4.20: Energy histories corresponding to impact velocities of (A) 55km/h and (B) 50km/h.

114

Using the same procedure, the axial force - critical impact velocity interaction curves

can be obtained for different levels of axial compressive load ratios and for the two

column boundary conditions investigated in this chapter as shown in the Figure 4.21.

1.2

1.2

Simply supported

Simply supported

1

Propped cantilever

Propped cantilever

(P/P Design)

(P/P Design )

1.0

0.7

0.5

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0.2

0.0

36

72

108

144

180

24

48

72

96

120

(A)

(B)

Figure 4.21: Axial force - critical impact velocity interaction curves of the steel columns used in

the parametric study: (A) section UC 356 406 340, L=8 m, impact mass=6tonnes, impact

location =2m); (B) section UC 305 305 118, L=4 m, impact mass=3tonnes, impact location

=1.5m)

When developing analytical solutions to the transverse impact problem, it is necessary

to know where the plastic hinge forms so as to quantify the plastic dissipation energy of

the column. Fig. 4.22 shows how the relationship between the axial compressive load as

a percentage of the design load (vertical axis) and the location of the plastic hinge,

measured from the column base, as a percentage of the total column length, for columns

failed in global mode for the two column sections, two boundary conditions and

different impact locations. Here, additional numerical simulations were carried out

using an impact location at the middle of the span of each column section to cover the

effect of different possible impact locations on the location of the intermediate plastic

hinge. Fig. 4.22 (A and B) shows that the plastic hinge location is not significantly

affected by the axial load values or the impact location because it is always close to the

column mid-span (0.375-0.5)L for the simply supported columns and (0.5-0.65)L for

the propped cantilever columns. This is because when the column fails due to global

plastic instability, the deformation shape of the column is more likely to follow the first

mode for static buckling (Adachi et al., 2004, Sastranegara et al., 2006, Shope, 2006),

115

especially for high levels of axial compressive load (> 25%PDesign) as can be shown in

Figs. 4.23 and 4.24.

1.0

1.0

0.9

Impact location=2m

0.7

Impact location=4m

Impact location=1m

P/P Design

P/PDesign

Impact location=1m

0.6

0.4

0.9

Impact location=1.5m

0.7

Impact location=2m

0.6

0.4

0.3

0.3

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.25

0.4

0.55

0.7

0.85

0.1

0.25

0.4

0.55

0.7

0.85

UC 356 406 340, L=8m

1.0

1.0

0.9

0.9

0.7

0.7

P/PDesign

P/PDesign

(A)

0.6

Impact location=1m

Impact location=2m

0.4

0.6

Impact location=1m

Impact location=1.5m

Impact location=2m

0.4

Impact location=4m

0.3

0.3

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.25

0.4

0.55

0.7

0.85

0.1

0.25

0.4

0.55

0.7

0.85

(B)

Figure 4.22: Effects of axial load level on the intermediate plastic hinge location on (A): simply

supported columns; (B): Propped cantilever columns. Impact mass =3 tonnes.

116

(a)

(b)

P=PDesign

P=0.5PDesign

P=0.1PDesign

P=PDesign

P=0.5PDesign

P=0.1PDesign

P=PDesign

P=PDesign

(c)

P=0.5PDesign

P=0.5PDesign

P=0.1PDesign

(d)

Figure 4.23: Collapse shapes showing the intermediate plastic hinge location for different axial

load ratios of simply supported columns (a) L= 8 m, impact location =2 m, Mass =6 tonnes; (b)

L= 8 m, impact location =1 m, Mass =3 Ton; (c) L= 4 m, impact location =1.5 m, Mass =6

tonnes; (d) L= 4 m, impact location=1 m, Mass = 3 tonnes

P=PDesign

P=0.5PDesign

P=0.1PDesign

P=PDesign

(a)

P=0.5PDesign

P=0.1PDesign

(b)

Figure 4.24: Collapse shapes showing the intermediate plastic hinge location for different axial

load ratios of propped cantilever columns; (a) L= 4 m, impact location =1.5 m, Mass =3 tonnes

(b) L= 8 m, impact location =2 m, Mass = 6 tonnes.

117

4.2.4.5.

The numerical simulations conducted in this chapter have assumed the impact direction

causing bending about the weak axis of the column to be the most critical situation in

terms of the column vulnerability to global failure. To validate this assumption, the

numerical simulations in this section considered two additional impact angles of 45 and

30 degrees as shown in Fig. 4.25. The axial load - critical impact velocity curves

resulting from these two cases are compared with that obtained from the 90 degree

impact as shown in Fig 4.26. This figure suggests that the critical velocity of the impact

on steel column subjected to 45 and 30 degrees impact are higher than that of 90

degrees impact. Therefore, for impact design, considering this direction (90 degrees)

should give more conservative results.

45o

30o

90o

1.2

90 Degree Impact

(P/PDesign)

0.9

45 Degree Impact

30 Degree Impact

0.6

0.3

0.0

5

10

15

20

25

30

Figure 4.26: Effect of impact direction on the critical impact velocity of a simply supported

column section UC 305 305 118, Impact location=1.5m, Impact mass 6 tonnes.

118

To investigate any material damping effect on column behaviour, three damping ratios

(2.5%, 5% and 10%) were introduced into the analysis for one case from the previous

parametric study that just experienced failure. The damping ratios were defined using

the Ralyeigh mass proportional damping coefficient since it is the most suitable for

dynamic analysis to damp out the structure response in the lower frequency modes

(SIMULIA, 2010a, Thilakarathna et al., 2010). Fig. 4.27 compares the axial

displacement at the column top and the kinetic energy histories for different ratios of

damping.

0.0

-0.2

-0.4

-0.6

No damping effect

Damping ratio=2.5%

Damping ratio=5%

Damping ratio=10%

-0.8

-1.0

0.08

0.11

0.15

0.19

0.23

0.26

0.30

Time (Sec.)

(A)

1.4E+06

No damping effect

1.1E+06

Damping ratio=2.5%

Damping ratio=5%

8.4E+05

Damping ratio=10%

5.6E+05

2.8E+05

0.0E+00

0.08

0.11

0.14

0.18

0.21

0.25

0.28

Time (Sec.)

(B)

Figure 4.27: Effects of damping on the behaviour and failure of the impacted steel column

(section UC 356 406 340, L=8 m, impact location = 2 m, P/PDesign=70%), (A): Axial

displacement time history of the steel column; (B) Kinetic energy - time history.

119

It can be seen from Fig. 4.27, that the material damping effect is almost trivial. With

increasing damping, column failure was slightly delayed but not prevented. Fig. 4.28

shows column kinetic energies and the damping energies of the columns. Damping

energies increase only after the columns have failed, as indicated by the increase in

kinetic energies. Hence, it can be concluded that the effect of damping can be neglected

when determining the critical velocity of impact causing column failure.

5.0E+05

KE (2.5% damping)

KE (5% damping)

4.0E+05

KE (10% damping)

Damping energy(2.5% damping)

3.0E+05

Damping energy(10% damping)

2.0E+05

1.0E+05

0.0E+00

0.08

0.11

0.15

0.18

0.22

0.25

Time (Sec.)

Figure 4.28: Kinetic energy and damping energy histories of the impacted steel columns with

the damping effect for the impacted steel column shown in Fig. 4.27.

The numerical simulations presented in the previous sections have included strain

hardening and strain rate effects in the steel material behaviour. To investigate the

effects of these material properties on column behaviour, particularly the critical impact

velocity, numerical simulations were carried out in this section without considering

strain hardening and strain rate effects.

Fig. 4.29 (A and B) shows the effect of strain hardening on the axial load-critical impact

velocity curve of the column. The figure shows a large reduction in the critical impact

velocity values if the strain hardening effect is ignored for the steel section UC

305 305 118 (see Fig. 4.29(B)). For the steel section UC356 406 340, L=8m, no

remarkable effect can be noticed (see Fig. 4.29(A)). Whilst ignoring this beneficial

effect of strain hardening may give a conservative design, the results are inaccurate.

Chapter six will suggest a possible approach to incorporate this effect in the simplified

analytical method.

120

1.2

1.2

Without strain hardening

1.0

With strain hardening

P/P Design

0.8

P/PDesign

0.6

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.4

0.2

0.2

0.0

18

36

54

72

90

10

20

30

40

(A)

(B)

Figure 4.29: Effect of strain hardening on critical impact velocity of the simply supported steel

column section (A) section UC 356 406 340, L=8m, impact mass=6tonnes, impact location

=2m); (B) section UC 305 305 118, L=4 m, impact mass=6tonnes, impact location =1.5m)

One the other hand, the effects of strain rate may be ignored because of the low strain

rate encountered in this type of impact. For example, Fig. 4.30 shows the maximum

strain rate along the column length for column section UC 356 406 340 for a high

impact velocity of 90km/h. The maximum value is 0.1sec-1. At this value, the maximum

enhancement in the steel yield stress is 50% according to the Cowper-Symonds strain

rate model. Whilst this change from the static yield stress of 355N/mm2 is considerable,

the fact is that different rates occurring at different locations of the column would make

it very difficult to be incorporated in the simplified model. Since ignoring this effect

will result in a conservative design, the simplified model to be developed in chapter six

will not include this effect.

121

50

0.14

At the compression flange

At the tension flange

0.12

0.1

0.08

0.06

0.04

0.02

0

0.0

0.2

0.4

0.5

0.7

0.9

Figure 4.30: Maximum strain rate values along column length, section UC 356 406 340,

impact location 4m, impact velocity=90km/h, Impact mass=6 tonnes.

4.3.

Summary

This chapter has presented in detail the results of a numerical simulation study using

ABAQUS/Explicit to investigate the effects of several parameters on the behaviour and

failure modes of axially pre-loaded steel columns subjected to transverse impact. From

the results of this parametric study, the following conclusions may be drawn:

(1) The predominate failure mode for axially unrestrained compressed steel

columns under transverse impact was global buckling of the column.

(2) Some column failure involved large local flange distortion at, and around, the

impact area. However, this local flange distortion is a result, not the cause, of

global column failure.

(3) Column failure was primarily dependent on the level of impact kinetic energy.

At the same impact kinetic energy, different values of impacting mass and

velocity had a minor effect on column failure.

(4) Except for a very low level of axial compression (<25% design resistance), the

formation of a plastic hinge was almost independent of the impact position, with

the plastic hinge location being close to the centre of the column.

122

(5) The impact direction to cause bending of the column about the minor axis was

found to be the most critical direction of impact.

(6) Damping has little effect on the failure of the column and hence can be

neglected when calculating the critical impact velocity.

(7) Both strain hardening and strain rate have beneficial effects on column

behaviour and critical impact velocity. The effect of strain hardening will be

included in the development of a simplified method. However, the effect of

strain rate will be discarded because of the relatively low influence of this

parameter and the difficulty of implementing this effect in the simplified model.

123

Chapter Five

A simplified FE Vehicle Model for Assessing the Vulnerability of

Axially Compressed Steel Columns Against Vehicle Frontal

Impact

5.1.Introduction

Vehicle impact mechanics have been an active research area for many years due to a

demand for vehicle crashworthiness and passenger safety. For this type of research, it is

necessary to understand the detailed mechanical behaviour of vehicles. However, when

studying column behaviour under a vehicle impact, as in the present research study, the

emphasis is on the impacted column rather than on the impacting vehicle, so it is only

necessary to develop an understanding of the global and external load resistance

characteristics of the vehicle frontal structure involved in such impact event.

The main objective of this chapter is to present and validate a simplified numerical

vehicle model that can be used to simulate the effects of vehicle frontal impact on steel

columns by using the commercial finite element code ABAQUS/Explicit. The

simplified numerical vehicle model treats the vehicle as a spring-mass system. This

model has, in fact, already been exploited by other researchers in the preliminary stages

of vehicle design and occupant safety assessment (Emori, 1968, Tani and Emori, 1970,

Kamal, 1970).

Simulating vehicle impact on a column using the spring-mass system requires defining

an accurate enough value of the vehicle stiffness against column impact. Vehicle

stiffness is a common term used as an important parameter in the field of vehicle safety

(Brell, 2005). Multiple definitions of vehicle stiffness have been established to describe

how to define and quantify this parameter and how to relate it to other important vehicle

parameters such as vehicle mass, vehicle velocity, vehicle deformation and vehicle

energy. Nevertheless, these definitions are all based on the assumption that the impacted

object has an infinite stiffness and width, and they cannot be directly used to express the

124

vehicle stiffness against a deformable body with a finite stiffness and width such as the

steel columns considered in this study. The objective of this chapter is to develop a

method to predict the equivalent stiffness of a vehicle that can be used in analyzing

impacted column behaviour.

To achieve the objective of this chapter, the method of investigation will include the

following steps:

a) To identify the vehicle characteristics affecting vehicle impact on steel columns;

b) To propose and validate a simplified numerical vehicle model to simulate the

effects of vehicle impact on the behaviour and failure of steel columns under

axial compressive load using the finite element code ABAQUS/explicit; and,

c) To suggest and validate a simplified analytical approach to estimate vehicle

linear stiffness to be used in the vehicle model derived in b).

5.2.Vehicle characteristics

When a vehicle impacts a column, a considerable portion of the impact energy will be

absorbed by the impacting vehicle, see Fig.5.1. The amount of impact energy absorbed

by the vehicle depends on the stiffness characteristics of the vehicle before and after the

vehicle engine (Tani and Emori, 1970), in addition to the stiffness of the struck column.

Figure 5.1: Crumpling and deformation of a vehicle frontal structure after impact into a steel

column

To develop a simplified vehicle model, the following key features of the impacted

vehicle must be simulated properly:

a) Kinetic energy of the impact (vehicle mass and velocity).

b) Vehicle stiffness.

125

Among all the previous techniques used to simulate vehicle impact, the spring-mass

model is deemed the most simplistic to represent the dynamic and load-deformation

characteristics of the vehicle. Since most of the previous experimental and analytical

studies have suggested a linear or bilinear relationship for the vehicle stiffness (Tani and

Emori, 1970, Milner et al., 2001), a single degree of freedom spring will be

implemented in the proposed simplified numerical vehicle model. Although numerical

modelling of the spring-mass system of one degree of freedom may be regarded as

simple, it is a highly challenging task when dealing with contact interaction and the

nonlinear load-deformation characteristics of the vehicle. The proposed model should

be able to generate the same kinetic energy that the original vehicle would generate at

the time of impact and it must also be able to follow the assumed load-deformation

characteristics of the vehicle under consideration up to the maximum impact force and

transfer this force to the impacted column through the contact zone.

The proposed simplified model is shown in Fig. 5.2, comprising a rigid body, a

nonlinear spring and a rigid massless surface. The mass of the rigid body represents the

total vehicle mass; the nonlinear spring represents the dynamic load-deformation

characteristics of the vehicle structure and the rigid surface simulates the contact

between the vehicle and the structure. The nonlinear spring was introduced in the model

using a NONLINEAR SPRING option in ABAQUS/Explicit with the load-deformation

characteristics defined in the input file of the model (SIMULIA, 2010a). The rigid

surface was defined as a DISCRETE RIGID SURFACE (SIMULIA, 2010b) which is

intended to prevent any energy absorption by the contact surface of the simplified

vehicle model. The curved contact surface has no sharp corners and ensures that the

contact point of the vehicle with the impacted structure does not cause any local stress

concentration in the structure.

126

Rigid body

Nonlinear spring

Rigid surface

5.3.1.

Validation

Validation of the simplified vehicle model was carried out by the following two steps:

a) Comparison between the simulation results using the simplified model and fullscale vehicle tests for vehicle impact on a rigid barrier. This is to ensure that the

proposed spring-mass model is capable of converting the impact energy of the

vehicle to the internal energy of the simplified vehicle model;

b) Comparison between simulation results using the simplified model and using a

full-scale numerical vehicle model impacting on the columns. This is to ensure

that the proposed spring-mass model is capable of simulating the dynamic and

structural effects on the impacted steel columns.

The following sub-sections describe in detail each of the above two validation steps.

5.3.1.1. Vehicle impact on a rigid barrier

The impact tests were conducted under the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP)

organized by the US National High Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA, 2011)

involving vehicle full frontal impact on a flat rigid barrier. Eqs. (2.8-2.11) presented in

chapter two, which are suggested by Campbell (1976) and developed by Jiang et al.

(2004), were used to estimate the vehicle impact force crush deformation relationship.

An example is given below for a Toyota Echo 2001vehicle model.

127

from a full frontal crash of a Toyota Echo 2001 (first test in Table 5.1)

Total vehicle mass M = 1136 kg, impact velocity = 56.3km/h (15.63 m/s), the maximum

vehicle deformation (Cmax)= 0.464 m (NHTSA Test No. 3647), Wv=1.572 m. The

stiffness coefficient A and B can be determined using Eqs. 2.8 to 2.11 presented in

chapter two as follows(Campbell, 1976, Jiang et al., 2004):

bo 2.2m / s

V bo 15.63 2.2

b1 =

=

29 sec 1

C max

0.464

A=

=

= 46104.83 N / m

Wv

1.572

Mb 21 1136 292

B=

=

= 607745.55 N / m / m

Wv

1.572

Since the whole vehicle width is involved in the impact, the above calculated stiffness

coefficients must be multiplied by the vehicle width. Therefore:

Atotal = 46104.83 1.572 = 72476.8 N ,

Btotal = 607745.55 1.572 = 955376 N / m

The maximum impact force is:

The above calculations can be used to define the stiffness characteristics of the spring

used in the simplified vehicle model. Fig. 5.3 shows the impact force vehicle

deformation relationship assigned to the nonlinear spring to simulate vehicle impact on

a rigid crash barrier for the above example.

128

6.E+05

Fmax=515771N

5.E+05

4.E+05

B=955376N/m

3.E+05

2.E+05

1.E+05

A=72476.8N

Cmax=0.46

0.E+00

0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

Figure 5.3: Force-deformation characteristics of the spring used to represent the frontal impact

behaviour of a Toyota Echo 2001.

Similar calculations were performed for the other vehicles in Table 5.1 and Fig. 5.4

shows the force-deformation relationships for the vehicles in Table 5.1.

1.5E+06

1.2E+06

1997 Ford Explorer

2011 Nissan Murano

9.0E+05

C2500,Pickup Truck, 1994

6.0E+05

Chevy Silverado,2007

Ford Explorer, 2003

3.0E+05

0.0E+00

0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

Figure 5.4: Force-deformation relationship used to define the stiffness characteristics of the

nonlinear springs used to simulate the vehicles in Table 5.1

Table 5.1 compares the maximum impact forces (contact force) obtained from

ABAQUS/Explicits numerical simulations using the proposed spring-mass system with

those recorded experimentally (where available) or calculated from the equations of

Campbell. The agreement between the numerical results and the experimental/

129

calculation results shown in Table 5.1 is excellent, demonstrating the validity of the

proposed simplified vehicle model provided the spring characteristics can be provided.

Vehicle

Mass (kg)

Impact

Velocity

(km/h)

Vehicle

crush (m)

Impact Force(kN)

Contact

Force(kN)

Spring

displaceme

nt (m)

1136

56.3

0.464

515.771*

525.15

0.449

1100

48.6

0.460

364.79*

363.12

0.460

980.0*

873.1

0.499

1

3647(NHTSA,

2011)

type

Ref.

No.

Vehicle

Test Properties

Toyota

Echo 2001

Ford Escort

373(NHTSA, 2011)

1981

1997 Ford

393(NHTSA, 2011)

Explorer

ABAQUS/Explicit

Assu

2100

56

med

0.5

4

MB5208,

2011 Nissan

2011(NHTSA,

Murano

2000

56

0.322

1319.43*

1295.0

0.315

3054

55.7

0.78

1050.0**

809..03

0.762

2013

55.8

0.486

853.53**

857

0.488

2622

56.15

0.65

700.0**

846.79

0.654

2323

55.3

0.570

875.0**

829.01

0.573

2011)

NHTSA Test No.

5

5820(NHTSA,

2011)

Ford, F250,

2006

C2500,

1741(NHTSA,

Pick-up

2011)

Truck, 1994

Chevy

5877 (NHTSA,

Silverado,

2011)

2007

Ford

3730(NHTSA,

Explorer,

2011)

2003

**Experimental result

130

simulation of a vehicle impact on a column using a full-scale

numerical vehicle model

The previous section has demonstrated that it is appropriate to simplify a vehicle into a

mass-spring system for the calculation of the maximum impact force under a full-width

vehicle impact. This section provides a validation of the simplified vehicle model and

the spring stiffness calculation method by comparing more detailed structural (column)

behaviour of a vehicle impact on a column (a small contact area). The validation is

carried out in two stages. Firstly, the vehicle stiffness is obtained from numerical

simulations of a full-scale vehicle impact on a rigid column. Afterwards, simulation

results using the simplified vehicle model and the full-scale vehicle model are compared

for steel columns with different steel sections, boundary conditions and vehicle weights.

A. Full scale numerical vehicle model

The full scale numerical vehicle model used is for a Chevrolet C2500 Pick-Up made in

1994 (Fig. 5.5) that has been used by many researchers in vehicle crash simulations (ElTawil et al., 2005, Ferrer et al., 2010, Zaouk et al., 1996). This numerical model can be

downloaded from the National Crash Analysis Centre (NCAC) at George Washington

University (GWU)(NCAC, 2011). The reduced numerical model of the C2500 vehicle

has a total weight of 1840 kg and consists of 41,062 nodes and 10,500 elements

arranged in 59 parts with different element types and material models. It should be

pointed out that the origin input file of the model was written using the commercial FE

code LS-Dyna. The author converted the origin file from the LS-Dyna input file format

to the ABAQUS input file format using a special software developed by SIMULIA

(SIMULIA, 2010c).

Figure 5.5: Full-scale numerical model of a 1994 Chevrolet Pick-up C2500, based on (NCAC,

2011)

131

Although the numerical model was developed and validated by NCAC, verification is

necessary to ensure that the ABAQUS version of this model is working properly and

that the conversion of the input file from LS-Dyna to ABAQUS/Explicit was performed

correctly. For this, a simulation of one test of the frontal vehicle impact on a flat and

rigid barrier conducted by NTHSA (test no. 1741) was performed. Details of the test are

available on the web site of NHTSA (NHTSA, 2011, NCAC, 2011). Fig. 5.6 compares

the authors simulation result (contact force history) with the test result (NHTSA, 2011)

and the numerical simulation result by the National Crash Analysis Centre

(NCAC)(NCAC, 2011) which used a more detailed vehicle model (58313 element). The

agreement between the authors simulation result and the test result is very good, better

than that achieved between the NCAC simulation result and the test result.

1.6E+06

NHTSA Test

LS-Dyna-Detailed model

(58313 element)

ABAQUS-Reduced mode

(10500 element)

1.3E+06

9.6E+05

6.4E+05

3.2E+05

0.0E+00

0

0.03

0.06

0.09

0.12

0.15

Time (Sec.)

Figure 5.6: A comparison of the contact force history between the test (NHTSA, 2011), the

numerical simulation using a detailed FE vehicle model (NCAC, 2011) and the numerical

simulation using the reduced FE vehicle model of the present study

Three H-section steel columns were used in the numerical simulations. One column has

already been used in the numerical simulations described in chapter four (UC

305 305 118) and the other two columns were also designed according to the British

Standard BS 5950: Part 1:2000 in order to resist the total axial compressive loads

exerted on interior ground floor columns of artificial 10 storey, and 3 storey commercial

steel framed buildings. The resulting column sizes were UC 356 368 202 and UC

254 254 89. Columns with section sizes UC 305 305 118 and UC 254 254 89

132

had simply supported or propped cantilever boundary conditions while columns with

section size UC 356 368 202 were simply supported column at both ends.

The steel was assumed to be of grade S355 and the steel modulus of elasticity was

206000 N/mm2. The stress strain curve of the steel is the same as that used in the

parametric study in chapter four (see Fig. 4.2). The vehicle impact caused bending about

the weak (minor) axis for the three column sizes. Table 5.2 lists the column details used

in the numerical simulations.

Table 5.2: Steel column properties used in the numerical simulations

Column

length

Slenderness

Column section

( m)

UC 254 254 89

ratio ( kL ) z z

r

Relative

Design

slenderness

axial

Boundary

Fy

compressive

conditions

load (kN)

z z =

kL

r

61

0.81

2580

S.S

42.7

0.564

3200

Prop.

51.50

0.68

3800

S.S

36.05

0.476

4250

Prop.

41.66

0.55

6780

S.S

The simulations were performed to investigate the form of the spring characteristics in

the spring-mass model for the vehicle and whether these spring characteristics would

change under different conditions. For the vehicle considered, the spring characteristics

were obtained based on the results of vehicle impact on a rigid column. Fig. 5.7 shows

the impact force - vehicle displacement relationships for different impact velocities on a

rigid column of the same size as UC 305 305 118. It should be mentioned that the

general contact was used here to generate the interaction between the numerical vehicle

model and the steel column, as discussed in chapter three, with hard and penalty friction

formulations to describe the mechanical properties for the normal and tangential

directions respectively.

133

1.0E+06

V=40km/h

V=56km/h

V=80km/h

V=100km/h

Proposed spring characteristics

8.0E+05

6.0E+05

4.0E+05

2.0E+05

0.0E+00

0

150

300

450

600

750

Figure 5.7: Impact force-displacement relationships for a Chevrolet C2500 Pick-up vehicle

impact on a rigid column of section size UC 305 305 118 at different impact velocities.

It can be seen from Fig. 5.7 that the results are not sensitive to the impact velocity. For

vehicle deformation up to 625mm-650mm, the impact force-vehicle deformation

relationships are almost linear. This deformation limit corresponds to the position of the

engine. After exceeding this distance, the impact force increases sharply with the

maximum amplitude depending on the impact velocity. This sudden increase in the

contact force is a result of the column being in contact with the vehicle engine and other

stiffer parts of the vehicle which are much more rigid than the vehicle frontal zone

before the engine, causing a rapid increase in vehicle stiffness as can be seen in Figs.

5.8 and 5.9. It can be seen from Fig. 5.8 that, during the early stage of impact and before

the engine contacts the column (t=1.2msec to t=3.6msec), the vehicle frontal structure

crumples and cushions the impact energy. The impact force time history at this stage of

impact is almost linear as shown in Fig. 5.9.(B) Thereafter, from t= 6msec to t=8.4msec,

the vehicle stiffness increases rapidly with a sudden rise in the contact force due to the

column being in contact with the engine and the stiffer parts, see Fig. 5.8. Afterwards, at

t=12.0msec to t=14.4msec, the contact force drops abruptly (see Fig. 5.9 (B)) and

rebound of the vehicle occurs due to the recovery of the elastic axial deformation of the

vehicle (see Fig. 5.9(A)).

134

Vehicle engine

t=1.2 ms

t=3.6 ms

t=6ms

t=8.4ms

t=12.0ms

t=14.4 ms

Figure 5.8: A longitudinal cross section of the C2500 vehicle at different times of the impact

history showing the vehicle deformations before and after engine contact with a rigid column of

size UC 305 305 118 and the vehicle rebound thereafter, impact velocity = 56kN/m.

135

700

2.E+06

560

1.E+06

Contact force(N)

420

280

140

9.E+05

6.E+05

3.E+05

0.E+00

0

0.03

0.06

0.09

0.12

0.15

0.03

0.06

0.09

0.12

0.15

Time (Sec.)

Time (Sec.)

(A)

(B)

Figure 5.9: (A) Axial displacement and (B) contact force time histories of the C2500 vehicle

impacting a rigid column of size UC 305 305 118 at an impact velocity equal to 56km/h

Similarly, Fig. 5.10 shows the simulation results for the other two column sizes in Table

5.3 and the proposed bilinear spring impact force - deformation relationships. Although

Figs 5.7 and 5.10 indicate that the impact force - deformation relationship of the vehicle

is more close to a parabolic curve, a bilinear relationship has been assumed to represent

the vehicle force-displacement relationship as shown in Fig. 5.11. Assuming a bi-linear

stiffness relationship results in little loss of accuracy, but makes the vehicle loaddeformation relationship much easier to implement in both the numerical simulation

model and the analytical model.

Fig. 5.11 shows the idealized spring force - displacement relationship and Table 5.4 lists

the slopes (stiffness) for the first (K1) and second (K2) stages of the Chevrolet C2500

Pick-up vehicle. The changes in the stiffness values in Table 5.3 reflect the changes in

the contact area between the vehicle and the column, with a larger contact area giving

higher stiffness.

136

1.0E+06

V=56km/h

V=80km/h

8.0E+05

6.0E+05

4.0E+05

2.0E+05

0.0E+00

0

100

200

300

400

500

600

700

(A)

1.00E+06

V=56km/h

V=80km/h

8.00E+05

6.00E+05

4.00E+05

2.00E+05

0.00E+00

0

100

200

300

400

500

600

700

(B)

Figure 5.10: Impact force - displacement relationships for a Chevrolet C2500 Pick-up vehicle

impacting on a rigid column of (A) section size UC 254 254 89, (B) section size UC

356 368 202.

137

Impact force

K2

Before contact with engine

K1

Vehicle displacement

Figure 5.11: Proposed force - displacement relationship for the simplified spring-mass model of

a vehicle.

Table 5.3: K1 and K2 values for the Chevrolet C2500 Pick-up vehicle

K1(kN/m)

K2(kN/m)

UC 254 254 89

463

40.3103

510

46.8103

546

19.42103

The vehicle spring stiffness values obtained from impacting on rigid columns are then

used to simulate realistic column behaviour. To investigate whether the proposed

vehicle spring force - deformation relationship is suitable for the same column size but

under different loading and boundary conditions, numerical simulations using the

proposed spring vehicle model were carried out for simply supported steel columns of

section UC305 305 118 in the weak direction under different levels of axial

compressive load and different impact velocities. Fig 5.12 compares the simulation

results between using the full vehicle model and the Simplified Vehicle Model (SVM)

up to the peak impact force. The agreement between using the full-scale vehicle model

and the SVM is very good, especially considering the extremely high computation costs

of implementing a full-scale vehicle model.

138

1.2E+06

1.4E+06

V=48km/h-Full scale vehicle mode

V=48km/h- SVM

V=59km/h-SVM

1.1E+06

9.6E+05

7.2E+05

4.8E+05

8.4E+05

5.6E+05

2.8E+05

2.4E+05

0.0E+00

0.0E+00

0

140

280

420

560

700

6.4E+05

1.2E+06

8.0E+05

3.2E+05

4.0E+05

0.0E+00

0.0E+00

420

560

700

V=86km/h-SVM

1.6E+06

9.6E+05

280

560

V=66.5km/h- SVM

140

420

2.0E+06

280

1.6E+06

1.3E+06

140

700

140

280

420

560

Figure 5.12: Typical comparison of simulation results between the full-scale vehicle model

and the Simplified Vehicle Model (SVM) for impacts on a simply supported steel column

section UC 305 305 118 at different impact velocities.

As can be seen from Figs. 5.7 and 5.10, there are some variations in the vehicle impact

force - displacement relationship, particularly in the second stage after the column is in

contact with the vehicle engine. To investigate the practical implications of these

variations, simulations have been carried out to examine how the critical velocity (the

velocity that is just sufficient to cause column failure) changes with different vehicle

stiffness values. Table 5.4 compares the critical velocity results for different changes in

K1 and K2 of the proposed vehicle spring force - displacement relationship for a simply

supported steel column section UC 305 305 118 under 50% of the axial design load.

139

700

acceptable to assume that the vehicle is rigid once its displacement has reached the

engine position. Not surprisingly, the critical velocity shows some sensitivity to the

stiffness value K1 because this value directly determines the energy absorbed by the

vehicle, but by changing this value by 50%, the critical velocity value did not change

by more than 11%. As will be demonstrated in section 5.4, the stiffness value K1 can be

estimated to be within 25% of the true value based on full-scale vehicle modelling.

Table 5.4: Sensitivity of simply supported steel column behaviour (UC 305 305 118) to

stiffness parameters K1 and K2,.

Sensitivity to K1

K1/K1(Nominal)

Vcr*

(km/h)

Sensitivity to K2

Vcr/Vcr (Nominal)

K2/K2(Nominal)

Vcr

(km/h)

Vcr/Vcr(Nominal)

50.4

50.4

0.5

45

0.89

0.1

52.2

1.04

0.8

47.4

0.94

10

50.4

1.2

52.2

1.03

50.4

1.5

54

1.07

Fig. 5.13 presents further results on the sensitivity of critical velocity to stiffness K1, for

a simply supported steel column section UC 305 305 118. If the value of K1 changes

by 50%, the maximum change in the critical velocity for all axial load ratios is 16%.

At 20% change in K1, the maximum difference in critical velocity is only 11% for all

axial load ratios.

140

1.2

Full scale vehicle model

SVM-K1=K

SVM-K1=0.5K

SVM-K1=0.8K

SVM-K1=1.2K

SVM-K1=1.5K

Rigid impactor

P/PDesign

1

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0

10

34

58

82

106

130

Figure 5.13: Comparison of axial load critical velocity curves between the full scale vehicle

model and the simplified vehicle model using five values of vehicle frontal stiffness (K1) for the

simply supported steel column section UC 305 305 118 subjected to the transverse impact of

a 1994 Chevrolet Pick-up vehicle.

5.3.3.

Since the vehicle becomes very stiff when its displacement has reached the engine box,

it may be considered acceptable to model the vehicle simply as a rigid impactor. To

assess this claim, an extensive amount of numerical simulations have been performed to

compare the critical impact velocities for a number of columns between the following

four vehicle models:

a) full-scale numerical vehicle model;

b) spring mass system with bilinear vehicle force - displacement relationship and

finite stiffness value K2;

c) bilinear spring force - displacement curve with the same stiffness value K1 as in

(b) but K2 being infinite (rigid);

d) whole vehicle as a rigid impactor throughout.

The simulation results are presented in Figs. 5.14 to 5.18 for the different column

conditions as specified in Table 5.2. In all cases, buckling was about the weak axis

of the column. The results are presented as a column axial load ratio - critical

velocity relationship.

141

1.2

Full scale vehicle model

K2

Spring with finite stiffness K1 and

infinite stiffness K2

Rigid impactor

P/P Design

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0

0

24

48

72

96

120

Figure 5.14: The axial load ratio - critical velocity relationships of a simply supported steel

column section UC254 254 89

1.2

Full scale vehicle model

P/PDesign

K1 and K2

Spring with finite stiffness

K1 and infinite stiffness K2

Rigid impactor

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0

0

30

60

90

120

150

Figure 5.15: The axial load ratio - critical velocity relationships of a simply supported steel

column section UC305 305 118

142

1.15

Spring with finite stiffness K1

and K2

Spring with finite stiffness K1

and infinite stiffness K2

Rigid impactor

P/PDesign

1

0.85

0.7

0.55

0.4

20

44

68

92

116

140

Figure 5.16: The axial load ratio - critical velocity relationships of a simply supported steel

column section UC356 368 202.

1.2

Full scale vehicle model

Spring with finite stiffness K1

and K2

Spring with finite stiffness K1

and infinite stiffness K2

Rigid impactor

P/PDesign

1

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0

30

60

90

120

150

Figure 5.17: The axial load ratio - critical velocity relationships of a propped cantilever steel

column section UC254 254 89

143

1.15

Spring with finite stiffness K1

and K2

Spring with finite stiffness K1

and infinite stiffness K2

Rigid impactor

P/P Design

1

0.85

0.7

0.55

0.4

20

44

68

92

116

140

Figure 5.18: The axial load ratio - critical velocity relationships of a propped cantilever steel

column section UC305 305 118

In all cases, there is considerable difference between the simulation results using the

full-vehicle model and assuming the vehicle as a rigid impactor. This suggests that it is

not appropriate to treat the vehicle as a rigid impactor. There is practically no difference

in results between using a finite and an infinite stiffness value K2, clearly indicating that

it is acceptable to assume that the vehicle is rigid once the vehicle deformation has

reached the engine box.

Using the simplified vehicle model produces critical velocities lower than using the fullscale vehicle model; therefore using the simplified vehicle model gives safe results. In

most cases, using the simplified vehicle model gives simulation results in good

agreement with those obtained from using the full-scale vehicle model. Energy partition

to different parts of the system clearly supports this conclusion. For example, for the

simulation results in Figure 5.15, Table 5.5 lists the total energy (ETOTAL), the internal

energy of the whole vehicle-column system (IE), the internal energy absorbed by the

vehicle (IEv.) and the external work (WK) done on the column under an axial load ratio

of 0.5PDesign. Treating the vehicle as a rigid impactor (case d) means that the vehicle

does not absorb any energy. In the other three cases, the ratios of the energy absorbed

by the vehicle (the eighth column) from the simplified vehicle models (b and c) are very

close to those from the full-scale vehicle model (a).

144

Table 5.5: Energy partition for different vehicle models impacting on a simply supported steel

column section UC 305 305 118 under an axial load ratio of 0.5PDesign; (a) full-scale model;

(b) spring with finite stiffness K1 and K2; (c) spring with finite stiffness K1 and infinite stiffness

K2 (rigid), (d) rigid impactor.

IEv.*

(ETOTAL

% (IEv./

(Joule)

+WK)/IE

ETOTAL)

1.2E105 3.173E105

1.16105

1.08

51.8

1.8105

5.81104

2.36105

1.2105

1.01

66.7

14.25

1.86105

5.63104

2.4105

1.066105

1.01

57.3

11.0

1.11105

1.58105

2.63105

1.02

Vcr

ETOTAL

WK

(m/s)

(Joule)

(Joule)

15.6

2.24105

14.0

c

d

case

IE (Joule)

*Calculated from the force - deformation relationships of the vehicle model up to column buckling.

Fig. 5.19 shows the energy components histories for the simulating cases a and c. A

similar behaviour and similar trends can be seen in the two cases, particularly the time

of the column failure as characterized by the zero slope of the kinetic energy history.

Using the simplified vehicle model with finite stiffness K1 and infinite stiffness K2 (case

c) causes the column to fail at time t=0.126 sec, which is very close to the time of

failure achieved using the full scale vehicle model (case a) of t=0.122 sec.

6.00E+05

6.00E+05

Kinetic energy(KE)

Kinetic energy(KE)

Internal energy(IE)

Internal energy(IE)

External work(WK)

4.50E+05

Total energy(ETOTAL)

Energy (Joule)

Energy (Joule )

4.50E+05

3.00E+05

1.50E+05

Total energy(ETOTAL)

3.00E+05

1.50E+05

0.00E+00

0.03

External work(WK)

0.00E+00

0.06

0.09

0.12

0.15

0.18

0.03

0.06

0.09

0.12

Time (Sec.)

Time (Sec.)

(A)

(B)

0.15

Figure 5.19: Energy histories corresponding to (A) case a an impact velocity of 15.6m/s (B)

case c at an impact velocity of 14.25m/s, both for the simply supported column section

UC305 305 118

In cases where the column in strong (characterized by low slenderness, low load ratio,

and impact point close to ground) the simulation results using the simplified vehicle

model approach those assuming the vehicle as a rigid impactor and deviate from those

145

0.18

when using the full-scale vehicle model. This is because the failure of such columns

requires a large amount of impact energy. When this happens, a large part of the impact

energy is absorbed by deformations of other parts of the full-scale vehicle (such as in

the rear part of the vehicle, shown in Fig.5.22) which are not included in the simplified

vehicle model which is based on deformation in front of the engine box.

5.3.4.

The proposed simplified vehicle model was obtained for an empty vehicle. To examine

whether the same spring force - displacement relationship can be used when there are

goods in the vehicle, further simulations have been carried out using the same 1994

Chevrolet Pick-up vehicle, but by increasing the weight of the vehicle by 1 tonnes and

1.5 tonnes. Figs. 5.20 and 5.21 compare the simulation results. Compared with Fig.

5.15, the correlation of the simulation results using the simplified vehicle model with

the full-scale vehicle model is slightly worsened. This is caused by increased energy

absorption in other parts of the vehicle that are not included in the simplified vehicle

model. Increasing the vehicle weight increases the tendency for this to happen.

146

1.2

Full scale vehicle model

K1 and K2

Spring with finite stiffness

K1 and infinite stiffness K2

Rigid impactor

P/PDesign

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0

0

24

48

72

96

120

Figure 5.20: The axial load ratio - critical velocity relationships of a simply supported column

section UC305 305 118, additional weight =1tonnes.

1.2

Full scale vehicle model

P/PDesign

K1 and K2

0.8

K1 and infinite stiffness K2

0.6

Rigid impactor

0.4

0.2

0

0

24

48

72

96

120

Figure 5.21: The axial load ratio - critical velocity relationships of a simply supported column

section UC305 305 118, additional weight = 1.5tonnes.

147

(b) A propped cantilever steel column section UC 305 305 118, P=0.3PDesign,

V=180km/h

(c) A simply supported steel column section UC 305 305 118, P=0.15PDesign,

V=130km/h, additional weight = 1.5tonnes

Figure 5.22: Deformation shape of the C2500 vehicle after a steel column impact for low axial

load ratios

148

Clearly, the initial stiffness value (K1) in the simplified vehicle model should be

evaluated accurately. This section will present a detailed derivation for vehicle impact

on columns, which has not been undertaken by others before, and will assess the

accuracy of this estimate.

5.4.1.

Fig. 5.23 shows the typical damage pattern to a vehicle after impact by a column in the

central portion of the vehicle. The vehicle deformation profile for this pattern may be

assumed as shown in Fig. 5.24. Using Campbells linear equation to express the impact

force exerted to the vehicle, the energy absorbed by vehicle deformations during full

frontal impact can be calculated using the following double integral:

IE v =

Wv C

F ( c ) .d c d w

0

.............................................................................................. 5.1

Where Wv is the vehicle total width perpendicular to the impact, C is the vehicle

deformation which varies across the vehicle width and F(c) is the impact force as a

function of the vehicle crush distance defined by Campbell (1976) as:

F(c) = A+BC ............................................................................................................................... 5.2

Where A, B and C were defined in chapter two.

Substituting the equation of F(c) into Eq. 5.1 results in the following equation:

IE v =

Wv C

(A +

0

B C )dc dwv

.................................................................................. 5.3

149

Figure 5.23: Damage profile of the C2500 vehicle after a frontal impact in the central region on

a column

wv

Cmax

Cmax

wv

(Wv-hc)/2

(Wv-hc)/2 hc

(Wv-hc)/2

Wv

Figure 5.24: Simplified damage profile of a vehicle after frontal impact in the central region on

a column

For frontal impact with a column in the middle of the vehicle, see Fig. 5.24 above, the

vehicle displacement can be expressed as follows:

For 0 w v

(W v h c )

2

C m ax

C

=

(W v h c ) / 2

w v ............................................................................................................... 5.4

150

C =

2 C m ax w v

( W v h c ) ................................................................................................................ 5.5

(W v h c )

(W v + h c )

wv

2

2

For

C = C m ax

..................................................................................................................................... 5.6

By substituting Eqs. 5.5 and 5.6 into Eq. 5.3 to compute the energy absorbed by vehicle

deformations, the following is obtained:

IE v = hc

C m ax

( A + B C )dc + 2

(W v hc )

C

2

IE v = [ A C m ax +

IE v = [ A C m ax +

(W v hc )

2

[A(

BC

m ax

2

BC

(A +

]hc + 2

(W v hc )

2

B C ) d c d w v ........................... 5.7

[AC +

BC

2

]d w v

..................... 5.8

m ax

]hc +

............................. 5.9

2 C m ax

2 C m ax

1

)wv +

B(

) 2 w v 2 ]d w v

(W v h c )

2

(W v h c )

I E v = [ A C m ax +

BC

m ax

]hc +

2 C m ax

w 2

2 C m ax

1

2[ A (

) v +

B(

) 2 w v 3 ]0

(W v h c )

2

6

(W v h c )

IE v = [ A C m ax +

IE v = A C m ax

BC

m ax

]hc +

(W v hc )

2

(W v h c )

B

[ A C m ax +

C

2

3

(W v + h c )

+ BC

2

m ax

(W v + 2 h c )

6

2

m ax

] ................. 5.11

........................................ 5.12

151

............................ 5.10

IE v =

1

K 1C

2

2

m ax

................................................................................................................ 5.13

K1 =

2[ A C m ax

(W v + h c )

+ BC

2

C 2 m ax

2

m ax

(W v + 2 h c )

]

6

............................................ 5.14

In Eq. 5.14, Cmax is the maximum displacement of the vehicle in front of the engine box.

5.4.2.

comprehensively assessed. As partial validation, the calculation results for the

Chevrolet C2500 Pick-up using Eq.5.14 are compared with the stiffness values obtained

from the numerical simulations reported in section 5.3.1.2 in addition to the stiffness

values obtained from the numerical simulations using two larger virtual column sizes

(500 mm and 750mm).

For this calculation, the values of A and B are A = 52.686kN/m and B = 509.623kN/m2

according Eqs. 2.8 to 2.11 in chapter two. The value of Cmax is 0.625m according to the

full-scale numerical simulation results in section 5.3.1.2 Wv=1.63m. Table 5.6 compares

the calculated and the numerically extracted stiffness results for the different column

dimensions (hc) in contact with the vehicle. The difference between the calculation

results using Eq.5.14 and the numerically extracted results is within 25%. Also

Campbell (Campbell, 1976) indicated that the applicability of Eq. 5.2 should be limited

to hc/Wv > 25%. The results in Table 5.6 for smaller column dimensions (h/Wv = 16%

and 19. 3%) indicate that Eq. 5.2 can be used for a h/Wv ratio lower than 25%.

152

Table 5.6: A comparison between calculated and numerically extracted linear stiffness for a

Chevrolet 2500 Pick-up

K1 using Eq.5.14 for

Column depth* (m)

% (h/Wv)

K1 (ABAQUS) kN/m

Cmax=0.625m

K1 (kN/m)

%Diff.

0.260

16

463

524.6

13.3

0.3145

19.3

510

549.5

7.8

0.375

23

546

575

5.33

0.50

30.6

610

628

2.9

0.75

46.

983

733.8

-25.0

5.5. Summary

This chapter has presented and validated a simplified approach to simulate the effects of

vehicle frontal impact on steel columns under a compressive axial load. The impacting

vehicle was simplified as a spring mass system with the linear spring representing the

stiffness characteristics of the vehicle. The spring force- deformation relationship is

assumed to be bilinear, with the first part representing the vehicle deformation

behaviour up to the engine box and the second part representing the stiffness of the

engine box, which is almost rigid. To validate the proposed numerical model,

comparisons were made in terms of the load-deformation relationships of the vehicle

and the axial load-critical impact velocity curves of the three steel columns, between the

numerical simulations results using a full-scale vehicle model and the simplified

vehicle model. Very good agreement was achieved. Furthermore, it has been found that

the second part of the simplified vehicle model can be assumed to be rigid. However, it

is not appropriate to assume vehicles as rigid impactors.

This chapter has also presented a method to obtain the stiffness value of a vehicle before

reaching the engine box. This is based on using Eqs. 2.8-2.11 (Campbells original

equations plus Jiang et al.s proposal to obtain bo and b1) to obtain the vehicle force deformation relationship per unit width and integrating this force - deformation

relationship over the deformation profile of the vehicle after impact on a column with a

finite width. Comparison between the vehicle stiffness values derived in such a way and

those extracted from the numerical simulation indicates that the difference is less than

153

25% for different column section sizes. Also Campbells original condition that the

column width be at least 25% of the vehicle width may be removed.

154

Chapter Six

the Critical Velocity of Transverse Rigid Body Impact and

Vehicle Impact on Steel Columns

6.1. Introduction

This chapter presents the development of a simplified analytical method to predict the

critical velocity of rigid body impact and vehicle impact on steel columns under axial

compressive load. This method is based on the energy balance with a quasi-static

approximation of the column behaviour. This general method has been widely used for

beams under lateral impact without any axial load (Jones, 1995, Wen et al., 1995,

Bambach et al., 2008) but column buckling adds complexity to the problem. For

simplification, the observations and conclusions drawn from the parametric study and

numerical simulations conducted in chapters four and five have been used to provide

guidance on establishing several assumptions.

Although assuming that the impacting mass behaves as a rigid body may give more

conservative design results in terms of the critical impact velocity because all the impact

energy is only absorbed by column deformations, it neglects the amount of impact

energy that could be absorbed by vehicle deformations which may affect the column

behaviour and failure. Moreover, the results presented in chapter five have shown that

vehicle deformations absorb a considerable percentage of the impact energy which can

significantly reduce the kinetic energy imparted to the column. The objective of this

chapter is to present a simple but effective approach to account for vehicle deformations

in the energy balance equation.

155

It should be pointed out that the main emphasis of this analytical method is to obtain the

column axial load - critical impact velocity relationship. The critical impact velocity is

defined in chapter four as the minimum velocity of the impact body that causes the

column to lose its stability. From reviewing the available literature (chapter two), it can

be concluded that the most simplistic analytical method for structures subjected to

transverse impact load would be to assume a quasi-static behaviour (Jones, 1995, Wen

et al., 1995, Bambach et al., 2008, Shope, 2006). Therefore, the combination of an

energy balance approach with a quasi-static approximation of column behaviour will be

used in the current study to provide a simplified method which is intended to provide an

accurate enough prediction of the critical velocity of a vehicular impact on a steel

column.

The energy balance approach is more appropriate for impact events with a very short

duration compared with the natural period of the whole structural system. This is

because, in such a dynamic event, the impact loading history is unimportant compared

to the total impact energy imparted to the impacted structural member (Jones, 1995).

This approach can be used by either assuming all the impact kinetic energy is absorbed

only by the impacted column which means the impacting object behaves as rigid body

or by assuming that both the impacted column and the impacting object absorb the

kinetic energy of the impact. Both assumptions will be used in this chapter to determine

the critical impact velocity.

6.2.1. Developing the energy balance equation

The general energy balance equation, as employed in ABAQUS/Explicit, is:

Where IE is the internal energy (consisting of both the recoverable or elastic strain

energy, SE, and the plastic strain energy, PD), VD the viscous dissipation energy, KE

the residual kinetic energy, FD the frictional dissipation energy at the contact zone, WK

the work done by the external forces, and ETOTAL the total conserved energy of the

system (the energy balance of the system).

156

For the critical situation, the column and the impactor are at rest, therefore KE=0. As

shown in chapter four, due to the short duration of impact, the viscous dissipation

energy at the critical condition is negligible compared to the initial impact energy even

after introducing a damping effect, making VD=0. Assuming there is no friction under

direct impact, then FD=0.

IE -WK = ETOTAL =Total conserved energy = Total impact energy .............................. 6.2

Or

IE = Total impact energy + WK .................................................................................................. 6.3

For the case of rigid impact, the IE results from the columns deformations only (i.e.

IE=IEcol), whilst for the flexible vehicle impact, this term also includes the energy

absorbed by vehicle deformation (i.e. IE=IEcol+ IEv.).

The derivation of each term in the above energy balance equation for both rigid impact

and vehicle impact will be presented in the following subsections.

6.2.2. Energy absorbed by the columns deformation (IEcol)

In the majority of previous theoretical studies which have adopted the energy balance

approach to predict structural behaviour under transverse impact, the material behaviour

was assumed to be rigid-plastic, making SE=0. This assumption would lead to an over

prediction of the structural permanent displacements (Jones, 1995, Samuelides and

Frieze, 1984), particularly if the transverse displacements are small or moderate.

Dorogoy (2008) confirmed this conclusion by undertaking a numerical investigation

into the dynamic impact response of an aluminium beam subjected to transverse impact

with no axial restraint. Moreover, the parametric study results of chapter four on steel

columns under transverse impact indicate that the elastic strain energy of a column at

failure is a considerable portion of the total internal energy of the column. Therefore,

both the elastic and plastic strain energies will be included in the proposed simplified

method.

157

P

P

M3

3

W

2

R1

x

1

1 P

Fpl

R1

M1

MPR2

2

2

1

R1

R1

M2

Fel

MPR3

1

P

MPR1

MPR1

P

M1

(A)

(B)

Figure 6.1: The column model used in the simplified analysis. A: Elastic phase, B: Plastic

phase.

Figure 6.1 illustrates the elastic and plastic phases of a column under impact loading.

The following main assumptions are adopted when calculating the column internal

energy.

1. The moment-rotation curve of a plastic hinge formed in the column is elasticperfectly plastic as shown in Fig. 6.2;

2. The column is in a quasi-static state of equilibrium; and

3. The column has a uniform cross section along its length with equal plastic bending

moment capacity everywhere.

M PR

Elastic

Critical

Figure 6.2: The assumed elastic-perfectly plastic moment-rotation ( M ) relationship for the

column.

158

Therefore, the internal energy absorbed by the column can be expressed as:

I E col =

[M

i =1

PR i

( i C r i t i c a l

i E la stic

2

)]

........................................................ 6.4

Where n is the number of plastic hinges required to cause a plastic hinge mechanism in

the column; MPRi is the plastic moment capacity of the column section at the plastic

hinge i, taking into consideration the presence of an axial load;

elastic rotation of the column at the plastic hinge i; iCritical is the maximum rotation of

the column at the plastic hinge i

The following section will derive expressions to calculate the rotations iElastic and

iCritical .

6.2.2.1. Derivations of the maximum elastic and critical rotations

( iElastic and iCritical )

The maximum elastic rotation iElastic is calculated based on the column deformation

when the maximum bending moment in the column has just reached the plastic bending

moment capacity. Up to this stage, the column behaviour is assumed to be elastic and

governed by:

M x = (

d 2w

EI ) x .......................................................................................................................... 6.5

dx 2

Where Mx is the elastic bending moment of the column at section (x) along its

longitudinal axis,

d 2w

is the second derivative of the column deformation w(x) with

dx 2

respect to the distance x, EI is the flexural stiffness of the column section (E = modulus

of elasticity of the column material, I = 2nd moment of area).

Hence, the maximum elastic rotation iElastic is calculated based on the deformations

when the following conditions are reached:

159

d 2w

EI ) x = x = + M PR

dx 2

d 2w

EI ) x =0, x = L = M PR

dx 2

for the plastic hinge within the column height; .............. 6.6A

Where x is the location of the plastic hinge within the column height (see Fig. 6.1).

The above two equations will give two different column deformations. It is proposed to

use the larger deformation to calculate the elastic rotation to ensure that all the plastic

hinges have formed in the cross-section. Because the elastic energy (although

substantial) is still only a minor part of the total strain energy, the above approximation

is acceptable.

Now, referring to Fig. 6.1(B) which represents the deformed shape of the column during

the plastic deformation phase, the maximum or critical plastic rotation

iCritical at the

three potential plastic hinge locations can be determined based on the critical or

maximum transverse displacement. The critical displacement will be derived in section

6.2.2.2. It represents the displacement value at which the effect of the bending moment

caused by the axial load becomes just equal to the plastic resistance of the column to

cause global failure of the column.

A. Selecting the elastic deformation shape

To obtain the column deformation using Eq. 6.6 when the maximum bending moment

in the column reaches its plastic bending moment capacity, the deformation shape of the

column should be established first. Previous researchers have suggested using either the

deformation shape of the column under a static load at the position of impact (Biggs,

1964, Humar, 2002) or the buckling mode shape of the column (Sastranegara et al.,

2006, Shope, 2006). For a structural member without any axial load, there is no

considerable difference (Shope, 2006). The numerical simulations presented in chapter

four have revealed that, for columns under moderate to high axial load (>25% column

design load), the static buckling shape is more appropriate.

B. Determination of the intermediate plastic hinge location

The assumed plastic hinge mechanism shown in Fig. 6.1(B) requires the formation of a

plastic hinge between the supports. Without the compressive load, the location of the

intermediate plastic hinge will be at the location of the impacting mass. However, with

160

the presence of an axial compressive load, the column behaviour and deformation shape

will be different due to the P- effect. This was experimentally observed by Adachi et

al. (2004) who conducted impact tests on propped cantilever aluminum columns. Their

observations in Fig.6.3 clearly show that the intermediate plastic hinge location was not

at the impact location. The intermediate plastic hinge location was at the position of the

maximum column lateral deformation according to the static buckling mode.

Impact force

Figure 6.3: Effect of the impact location on plastic hinge location of the transversely impacted

column (Adachi et al., 2004)

The experimental observations of Adachi et al. (2004) were numerically confirmed and

quantified by the parametric study results in chapter four which show that, for columns

subjected to moderate and high levels of axial compressive load ( 25%PDesign), the

column deformation under the axial load dominates. Therefore, the location of the

intermediate plastic hinge was always close to the location of the maximum column

traverse displacement according to the static buckling mode shape (0.5L for a simply

supported column, about 0.6L from the column base for the propped cantilever case)

regardless of the impact velocity or the impact mass. Some results from the numerical

simulations are repeated in Fig. 6.4. For columns under a lower axial compressive load,

the deformation shape under lateral loading is more influential; therefore, the location of

the intermediate plastic hinge was near the impact location. In this analysis, for an axial

compressive load not exceeding 25% of the column design load, it will be assumed that

the intermediate plastic hinge will occur at the impact location.

161

Impact mass=6tonnes

Impact mass=6tonnes

1.5 m

Impact mass=6tonnes

Impact mass=6tonnes

2.0 m

2.0 m

1.5 m

S.S.

Prop.

S.S.

Prop.

(A)

(B)

Figure 6.4: Collapse shape of columns showing the locations of the plastic hinge: (A) L=4m,

axial load ratio (P/PDesign) = 50%, (B) L=8m, axial load ratio (P/PDesign) = 70%

moderate to high axial loads (P 25%PDesign)

A. Maximum elastic rotation iElastic .

w( x) = f (W , x)

.................................................................................................................................. 6.7

Where W is the amplitude of the deformation shape, which is taken as the maximum

transverse displacement of the column, and x is the distance along the longitudinal axis

of the column measured from the column base.

Substituting Eq. 6.7 into Eq. 6.6 (A and B) for the three possible plastic hinge locations,

the maximum column deflections to enable the bending moment in the column to reach

the plastic bending moment capacity at each of the three possible plastic hinge locations

(x=0, x= x and x=L) respectively can be calculated using the following equations:

M ( x=0) = M

M ( x = x) = M

M ( x= L) = M

PR1

d 2w

(

EI ) x=0 = M

dx 2

PR1

PR 2

d 2w

E I ) x = x = M

dx 2

PR 3

d 2w

EI ) x=L = M

dx 2

W el (1) = f ( M

W el ( 2 ) = f ( M

PR 2

PR 3

PR1

W el ( 3 ) = f ( M

162

, x ) .......................... 6.8

PR 2

PR 3

, x ) ...................... 6.9

, x ) ........................ 6.10

As explained previously (section 6.2.2.1), the maximum value of the above three

deflections should be used to determine the maximum elastic rotation at the end of the

elastic deformation phase. However, as will be demonstrated by the example below, the

three elastic deformations above converge to one single value.

Once the value of Wel is determined, the maximum elastic rotation can be determined

based on the plastic deformation shape in Fig. 6.1 (B), giving

( x =0) elastic =

Wel

L Wel

Wel

; ( x = x) elastic =

; ( x = L ) elastic =

........................................ 6.11

x

x ( L x )

( L x )

The derivation that follows is adopted from Shope (Shope, 2006) who applied the

procedure to columns subjected to blast loads. Replace the impact by a nominal static

force Fpl. Referring to the left part of Fig. 6.1(B), the reaction of the column at end 1,

(R1) can be determined by assuming a quasi-static equilibrium condition and taking

moment about end 2:

R1 =

Fpl ( L x ) M PR1 + M PR 3

L

................................................................................................. 6.12

Where x is the position of the impact load application measured from the column base.

Now, referring to the right part of Fig. 6.1(B), the relationship between the equivalent

quasi-static transverse force at the impact location (Fpl), the axial compressive load P

and the maximum transverse displacement W can be determined by the moment

equilibrium condition of that part:

When x x

R1 x + M PR1 M PR 2 + P W = 0 ............................................................................................... 6.13

Substituting the value of R1 from Eq. 6.12 into Eqs. 6.13 and 6.14 and solving for Fpl

gives the following equations:

163

For x x

Fpl =

( M PR1 (

M

x

1) + M PR 2 PR 3 x P W ) L

L

L

................................................................ 6.15

( L x ) x

For x < x

Fpl =

( M PR1 (

M

x

1) + M PR 2 PR 3 x P W ) L

L

L

.................................................................. 6.16

(L x ) x

Fig. 6.5 illustrates the decreasing relationship between the equivalent quasi-static

transverse force Fpl with increasing the transverse displacement W according to Eqs.

6.15 or 6.16. This figure shows that the maximum displacement at which collapse

occurs due to the combined effect of plastic mechanism and axial compressive force

( Wcr . ) can be determined by equating the equivalent plastic quasi-static force in Eqs.

6.15 or 6.16 to zero and solving for Wcr . as in Eq. 6.17:

F

Fpl (W =Wel )

W

Wel

Wcr

Wcr =

M PR1 (

M

x

1) + M PR 2 PR 3 x

L

L

.......................................................................................... 6.17

P

( x =0) Critical =

Wcr

L Wcr

Wcr

; ( x = x) Critical =

, , ( x = L ) Critical =

................................ 6.18

x

x ( L x )

( L x )

It should be pointed out that since Eq. 6.18 does not contain any reference to the

deformation capacity of the material (ultimate strain), it is only applicable to columns

164

where global buckling governs. The numerical results in chapter four indicate that

column global buckling was indeed the governing failure model.

Substituting the values of elastic rotations (Eq. 6.11) and of critical rotations (Eq. 6.18)

into Eq. 6.4, the general expression for the internal energy of the column is obtained as:

1

M

x

IE col =

+

1

M

( L x )

PR 1

(W cr W el / 2 ) +

PR 3

L

M

x ( L x )

PR 2

(W cr W el / 2 )

(W cr W el / 2 )

.. 6.19

The following example illustrates the application of the above mentioned procedure to

calculate the internal energy of a propped cantilever steel column.

column

1. Elastic rotation iElastic

The equation for the elastic buckling shape of a propped cantilever column can be

expressed as (Timoshenko, 1961, Shope, 2006):

w ( x) =

W

x

6.2824

L

Where =

1.4318

......................................................................................................................... 6.21

L

M ( x ) = EI

W

2 sin( x) + 3 L cos( x) = M PRi .................................................... 6.22

6.2824

(x 0.6L). Substituting this value into Eq. 6.22 gives the following equations:

M ( x =0) =

( M PR )

1.4676 2 EI

M PR

W = M PR1 Giving: Wel (1) =

, or Wel (1)

2

2

1.4676 EI

L

0.7 Pcr

2

L

165

And

M ( x =0.6 L ) =

M PR

1.466 2 EI

W = M PR 2 Giving: Wel (2) =

,

2

1.466 2 EI

L

L2

or Wel (2)

M PR

0.7 Pcr

Where Pcr is the Euler buckling load of the propped cantilever column defined by:

Pcr

2.046 2 EI

L2

Substituting x =0.6L and MPR1= MPR, MPR2=MPR and MPR3=0 into Eq. 6.17 for this

column boundary condition (Fig. 6.1(B), assumption 3) gives:

Wcr =

1.4 M PR

P

3. Internal Energy

Substituting the values of x , Wcr ,Wel and the corresponding values of MPR1 , MPR2 and

I E col =

M P R 1 .4 M

(

0 .6 L

P

PR

M PR

M PR

(1 .4 M

(

) +

2 0 .7 Pc r

0 .2 4 L

P

IEcol =

2.334M 2 PR 1

1

5.834M 2 PR 1

1

(

)+

(

)

L

P 2.Pcr

L

P 2Pcr

IEcol =

8.16634M 2 PR 1

1

4M 2 PR 1

1

[

]

[

]

2

L

P 2Pcr

(0.7) L P 2Pcr

PR

M PR

)

2 0 .7 Pc r

Following the same procedure, the internal energy for the two other boundary conditions

(simple supports at both ends, fixed supports at both ends) have been calculated. Table

6.1 summarizes the results.

166

Table 6.1: Internal energy equation of the steel column for three boundary conditions

Column

boundary

Internal energy

Mode shape equation (Timoshenko, 1961, Shope, 2006)

condition

w( x ) = W sin(

S-S

w( x ) =

F-F

w ( x) =

H-F

W

2

equation ( IEcol )

2

4M

2x

1 cos(

)

L

W

x

6.2824

L

PR

1

1

)

P

2 P cr

4 M 2 PR 1

1

(

)

2

(0.5) L P 2 Pcr

4M 2 PR 1

1

(

)

2

(0.7) L P 2 Pcr

S-S: Simple supports, F-F: Fixed-fixed supports, H-F: Hinged or pinned-fixed supports

By observing the above three equations in Table 6.1, a general equation can be written

to express the internal energy of the steel column as follows:

IEcol =

4M 2 PR 1

1

(

) ............................................................................................................ 6.23

2

k L P 2 Pcr

Where Pcr and k are the Euler buckling load and the effective length factor of the column

respectively.

6.2.2.3. Derivations for the internal energy equation for columns under

low axial load levels (P < 25%PDesign)

Apart from changing the plastic hinge location, the numerical simulation results of

chapter four also indicate that, for low levels of axial compressive force, the elastic

strain energy absorbed by the impacted steel column is very low compared to the plastic

dissipation energy as exemplified by Fig. 6.6. Therefore, the elastic strain energy will be

excluded from the energy balance equation (i.e. i elastic = 0 ).

167

Impact location=2m, impact energy=1666.67kN.m

Impact location=4m, impact energy=836kN.m

2.5E+06

PD

Energy (Joule)

2.0E+06

1.5E+06

KE

PD

1.0E+06

KE

5.0E+05

SE

SE

0.0E+00

0.08

0.11

0.15

0.18

0.22

0.25

Time (Sec.)

(A)

Impact location=1.5m, impact energy=4905kN.m

Impact location=1m, impact energy=4175kN.m

1.1E+06

Energy (Joule)

8.8E+05

PD

PD

6.6E+05

KE

4.4E+05

2.2E+05

KE

SE

SE

0.0E+00

0.03

0.08

0.13

0.18

0.23

0.28

Time (Sec.)

(B)

Figure 6.6: The time history of the energy quantities of impacted simply supported steel

columns under a low level of axial compressive load (P=10%PDesign), (A): L=8m, (B): L=4m

Therefore:

N

i =1

168

IE c o l =

1

M

x

PR1

W cr +

L

M

x ( L x )

PR 2

W cr +

1

M

( L x )

PR 3

W cr

................................................................................................................................................................ 6.25

Following the same procedure as for higher levels of axial compressive force, the

following equations can be derived.

A. For simply supported and fix-ended columns:

IEcol =

LM 2 PR

...................................................................................................................... 6.26

k .x.P.( L x)

B. For propped cantilever columns:

IE col

M 2 PR .(2 L x ) 2

................................................................................................................ 6.27

P.x .( L x ) L

In Eqs. 6.26 and 6.27, the plastic hinge location, x , is equal to the impact location

measured from the column base, x , as discussed before.

6.2.2.4. Reduced plastic moment capacity

Due to the axial compressive force, the plastic bending moment capacity of the column

cross-section is reduced. Table 6.2 presents the exact formulae of the reduced plastic

moment capacity MPR for the most commonly used structural steel sections (H sections,

rectangular hollow sections and hollow circular sections).

169

Table 6.2: Axial force-bending moment interaction equations for common structural steel

sections

Cross section shape

Box sections bent

about any axis and

H

sections

Limitations

MP

P Pw

Eq. No.

hw P 2

4 PW

6.28

h w ( P Pw )

2

6.29

bent

only (Bambach et

P > Pw

b f t f hw F y

2006)

For H sections bent

about their minor

P Pw

P > Pw

2006)

Circular

sections,

(Wong, 2009)

b f 2t

2

P Pw

(1

P y Pw

6.30

)Fy

2

6.31

P

M P cos

PY 2

any value

of P

6.32

Where bf and hw are the section width and the web depth of the box and H sections

respectively; tf is the flange thickness and Fy is the yield strength of the steel

material. P w is the full yield force of the section web defined by P w = h w t w F y , Py is

the full yield load of the steel section defined by P y = ( 2 b f t

+ h w t w ) F y for box

2

2

and H sections and Py = r2 r1 FY for circular sections. tw is the web thickness for

Alternatively, Duan and Chen (1990) suggested the following approximate interaction

equation to calculate the reduced plastic moment capacity:

Where is a parameter that defines the shape of the interaction curve depending on the

cross sectional shape of the column. The values of are shown in Table 6.3.

170

Table 6.3: Values of for different cross sectional shapes (Duan and Chen, 1990).

Section shape

Circular

1.75

Wide-flange

Wide-flange

(major axis)

(minor axis)

1.3

Box

2 0.5

width

depth

in an analytical analysis (Duan and Chen, 1990). It will be used in the proposed method.

6.2.3. The energy absorbed by the vehicle (IEv)

According to the linear behaviour of the vehicle frontal structure observed from the

numerical simulations in chapter five and referring to Fig. 6.7(A), the energy absorbed

by the vehicle can be expressed by the following equation:

IEv =

1

K1C 2 ..................................................................................................................................... 6.34

2

Where K1 is the linear stiffness of the frontal part of the vehicle and C is the vehicle

crush displacement at the column failure which can be determined according to Fig.

6.7(A and B) by:

C=

Fmax

............................................................................................................................................. 6.35

K1

Where Fmax is the maximum transverse static force resistance of the steel column at the

impact location.

Fig. 6.7 also shows that when the value of C calculated from Eq. 6.35 exceeds the

maximum crush distance of the vehicle, Cmax, the energy absorbed by the vehicle should

be determined by substituting for C by Cmax in Eq. 6.34 as follows:

IEv =

1

K1Cmax 2 ................................................................................................................................. 6.36

2

171

Where Cmax is the maximum distance between the vehicle frontal structure and the

vehicle engine. In other words, Cmax represents the maximum displacement at which a

vehicle may be crushed before the engine impacts on the column. For the Chevrolet

1994 Pick-up vehicle considered in chapter five, the value of Cmax is 0.625m.

5.E+ 05

Column failure before the

engine contact

Cmax

engine contact

Effect of axial

compressive load

4.E+ 05

3.E+ 05

2.E+ 05

1.E+ 05

Wel

0.E+ 00

0

30

Wcr

60

90

120

(A)Vehicle

UC305305118, (P/PDesign)=0.85)

Figure 6.7: Determination of the maximum vehicle deformation at column global failure: A)

energy absorbed by the vehicle; B) energy absorbed by the column.

The maximum transverse static resistance of the steel column corresponding to each

impact location and axial load ratio can be determined from a nonlinear finite element

static analysis such as ABAQUS. However, for practical design purposes, it is desirable

to adopt a simplified approach to calculate the value of this force and the following

subsection will present two possible alternative approaches.

A. EN 1993-1-1 (Eurocode 3)

For steel columns under combined axial and lateral loads, Part 1-1 of Eurocode 3

(Eurocode3, 2005) may be used. Under uniaxial bending and in combination with axial

compression, and on the assumption of no lateral torsional buckling, the following

equation may be used:

P

M

+ k zz z 1 ....................................................................................................................... 6.37

z N Rk

M Pz

Where P, Mz are design values of the axial compression force and the maximum

moment about the weak axis (z-z axis) of the member respectively; z is the reduction

factor for the compression due to flexural buckling about the weak axis (defined in

172

150

section 6.3.1 of Eurocode 3, NRk is the column cross-sectional axial resistance; Mpz is the

full plastic moment capacity of the column cross-section about the weak axis; and kzz is

an interaction factor to take account of the secondary bending moment due to an axial

compression force acting on the column lateral deformation.

The above equation can be used to determine the maximum bending moment that can be

applied to the column in the presence of an axial compression and this bending moment

can be then used to determine the corresponding maximum transverse static force.

However, as will be shown in the next chapter, this method contains a high degree of

conservatism. For an accidental design of the column under transverse vehicle impact, a

less conservative, but more accurate, method is required.

B. New proposal

The column transverse resistance - maximum transverse deflection relationship, as

shown in Fig. 6.5, represents the column resistance-deflection envelope corresponding

to a particular axial load level. In order to determine the column maximum transverse

resistance, the column transverse load (not resistance) - transverse deflection (not

maximum deflection) should be determined. As shown in Fig. 6.8, it is assumed that the

column maximum transverse resistance is the resistance value when the transverse loadtransverse deflection line intersects the transverse resistance the maximum transverse

deflection envelope. It is further assumed that the column transverse load - lateral

deflection curve can be determined based on elastic behaviour. To obtain the elastic

transverse load - transverse deflection curve, Eqs. 6.15 and 6.16 can be used to give the

following equations.

Consider a propped cantilever column. Since the elastic lateral load-displacement slope

is sought, substitute MPR1, MPR2 and MPR3 by the elastic bending moment capacities M1,

M2 and M3 respectively in Eq. 6.15. This gives the following equation for x x :

Fel =

(M1 (

M

x

1) + M 2 3 x P W ) L

L

L

............................................................................... 6.38

( L x ) x

1.4676 2 EI

1.466 2 EI

W

,

M

=

W and

2

L2

L2

M3=0. Therefore:

173

Fel =

1.4676 2 EI

0.6 L

1.466 2 EI

W

(

1)

+

W P W )L

L2

L

L2

( L x ) x

2.0528 2 EI

W P W ) L

L2

Fel =

........................................................................................ 6.39

( L x ) x

(

Similarly, for x x :

2.0528 2 EI

W P W ) L

2

L

Fpl =

........................................................................................ 6.40

( L x) x

(

Going through the same procedure, equations have been derived for simply supported

and fix-ended boundary conditions and the results are given in Table 6.4.

Table 6.4: Elastic transverse load the transverse deflection equations of the steel column for

three types of boundary condition

Load-deflection equations

Column

boundary

For x x

For x x

condition

S-S

Fel =

2 EI

L2

W P W ) L

( L x ) x

Fel =

2 EI

L2

W P W ) L

( L x) x

F-F

4 2 EI

W P W ) L

L2

Fel =

( L x ) x

4 2 EI

W P W ) L

L2

Fel =

( L x) x

H-F

2.0528 2 EI

(

W P W ) L

L2

Fel =

( L x ) x

2.0528 2 EI

(

W P W ) L

L2

Fel =

( L x) x

The above three equations can be represented by a general expression to relate the

transverse force (F) with the transverse deflection (W), as follows:

For x x

2 EI

P )W L

2 2

k

L

.................................................................................................................... 6.41

F=

( L x ) x

174

(

For x x

2 EI

P )W L

2 2

k

L

.................................................................................................................... 6.42

F=

( L x) x

(

Fig. 6.8 demonstrates the behaviour of a simply supported steel column according to

Eqs. 6.16 and 6.42 for the case of x x .

8.E+05

6.E+05

M

x

(M PR1 ( 1) + M PR 2 PR3 x P W ) L

L

L

Fpl =

( L x) x

Fmax

4.E+05

2.E+05

2 EI

2 2

P )W L

Wcr =

F = k L

( L x) x

0.E+00

0

Wel

0.05

0.1

0.15

M PR

kP

0.2

Figure 6.8: The transverse load - transverse deflection relationship of a simply supported steel

column according to the proposed equations.

Referring to Fig. 6.8, the transverse displacement at which the column reaches its

maximum static transverse resistance can be obtained by setting F equal to Fpl as

follows:

2 EI

2 2

P )W L

k L

( L x) x

W =

( M PR1 (

( M PR1 (

M

x

1) + M PR 2 PR 3 x P W ) L

L

L

( L x) x

M

M

x

x

1) + M PR 2 PR 3 x) ( M PR1 ( 1) + M PR 2 PR 3 x)

L

L

L

L

=

2

..................... 6.43

EI

Pcr

k 2 L2

175

Substituting Eq. 6.43 into the general elastic transverse force equations (Eqs. 6.41 and

6.42) or the plastic resistance equations (Eq. 6.15 and Eq. 6.16), the following equations

can be obtained to calculate the column maximum transverse resistance:

For x x

( M PR1 (

Fmax =

M

P

x

1) + M PR 2 PR 3 x)(1 ) L

L

L

Pcr

.................................................................... 6.44

( L x ) x

For x x

( M PR1 (

Fmax =

M

P

x

1) + M PR 2 PR 3 x)(1 ) L

L

L

Pcr

.................................................................... 6.45

( L x) x

Eq. 6.45 is more appropriate in the present study since the impact location ( x ) is always

lower than or equal to the plastic hinge location ( x ) as observed from numerical

simulations presented in chapter four.

6.2.4. Derivations of the external work equation

The external work done by the axial compressive force can be calculated by multiplying

the value of the axial compressive load by the axial shortening of the column as follows:

WK

= P .............................................................................................................................. 6.46

Referring to Fig. 6.1(B), the axial movement of the column can be calculated from the

following equation:

L

axial

dx ........................................................................................................................ 6.47

axial

Where

axial

1 w

2 x

.................................................................................................................... 6.48

176

The value of

axial

for the elastic range is very small and can be neglected without

axial

obtained from Fig. 6.1(B). From this figure, the equations for the plastic deformation

shape for all boundary conditions can be expressed as follows:

Wcr .x

x ...................... for(0 x x)

wx =

................................................................................ 6.49

Wcr .( L x) ............ for( x x L)

( L x)

w

x

x plastic

1

2

Wcr

x ................... for(0 x x)

=

.................................................................. 6.50

Wcr ............ for( x x L)

( L x)

W cr 2

1 W cr

+

2 ( L x )

axial

1

W cr

dx +

2

x

1

dx =

2

W

x ( L crx )

L

dx ................... 6.51

L W cr

=

............................................... 6.52

2

x

(

L

x

)

P L W cr

2 x ( L x )

WK

...................................................................................................... 6.53

Referring to Eq. 6.3, the general energy balance equation can now be rewritten as:

IEcol + IEv =

1

MVcr 2 + WK .......................................................................................... 6.54

2

Where M is the total mass of the impacting body and Vcr is the critical velocity of the

impacting vehicle.

177

Case a: P 2 5 % P D e s i g n

Substituting the general equation of the internal energy absorbed by the column (Eq.

6.23), the equation of the work done by the axial force (Eq. 6.53) and the energy

absorbed by the vehicle (Eq. 6.34), into Eq. 6.54, the following general equation is

obtained:

P L Wcr 2

4M 2 PR 1

1

1

1

2

2

(

) + K1C = MVcr +

.......................................................... 6.55

k 2 L P 2 Pcr

2

2

2 x( L x)

Case b: P < 2 5 % P D e s i g n

Substituting the general equations of the internal energy absorbed by the column (Eqs.

6.26 and 6.27), the equation of the work done by the axial force (Eq. 6.53) and the

energy absorbed by the vehicle (Eq. 6.34), into Eq. 6.54, the following general

equations are obtained:

For simply supported columns:

P L Wcr 2

1

1

LM 2 PR

................................................................... 6.56

+ K1C 2 = MVcr 2 +

k .x.( L x) P 2

2

2 x( L x)

For propped cantilever columns:

P L Wcr 2

M 2 PR .(2 L x) 2 1

1

+ K 1 C 2 = MVcr 2 +

............................................................. 6.57

P.x.( L x) L

2

2

2 x( L x)

In Eqs. 6.55, 6.56 and 6.57 C is substituted by Cmax when column failure occurs after

contact with the engine and this situation is indicated by Eq. 6.35. Hence, the above

three equations can be used to determine the critical impact velocity Vcr of the impacted

steel column under a specific value of axial compressive load.

The numerical simulations presented in chapter four have shown that strain hardening

of the steel material can increase the resistance of the column under transverse impact

because of the increase in column stiffness (Bai and Pedersen, 1993). However, the

proposed simplified analytical method presented in this chapter assumes that the

material behaviour is elastic-perfectly plastic. Nevertheless, a simple approach can be

178

used to include the steel hardening effect within the assumption of elastic-perfectly

plastic behaviour by assuming that the yield stress is the average value of the yield and

the ultimate stresses of the actual material behaviour as shown in Fig 6.9. This approach

will be validated in a sub-section of the next chapter.

8.0E+08

Fu=700N/mm2

7.0E+08

6.0E+08

Fy (Idealised)=543.75N/mm2

5.0E+08

4.0E+08

3.0E+08

Actual behaviour

Idealised behaviour

2.0E+08

0.05

0.1

0.15

0.2

0.25

Plastic strain

Figure 6.9: Idealised material behaviour of steel used to account for the strain hardening effect

6.3. Summary

This chapter has presented the full derivations of a simplified analytical method to

calculate the critical velocity of a rigid body and a flexible vehicle impact on a steel

column. This method used the energy balance principle and assumed a quasi-static

response from the impacted steel column. The main failure mode of the column was

global plastic buckling with the plastic hinge mechanism losing equilibrium under an

axial compressive force. For moderate to high levels of axial load (not less than 0.25 of

column design resistance), the location of the plastic hinge within the column height

was assumed to be at the position of the maximum column lateral deformation

according to the column buckling mode under axial load. For lower levels of axial load,

the position of the plastic hinge within the column height was assumed to be at the

position of impact. To obtain the maximum plastic hinge rotations, the method used by

Shope was followed, based on the assumption that the column with plastic bending

moment capacities at the plastic hinges loses equilibrium under the axial load.

179

A simple approach was suggested in this chapter to calculate the maximum energy

absorbed by the vehicle at column failure. In this approach, the linear behaviour of the

vehicle frontal structure up to the deformation to the engine box is assumed based on

the numerical simulations results of chapter five. The maximum vehicle deformation is

determined based on the maximum transverse static resistance of the column. For

design purposes, two alternative approaches were presented in this chapter to calculate

the maximum transverse static resistance of the column, one based on EC3 and the other

proposed by the author.

Chapter seven will present a validation of the proposed method by comparing it against

the numerical simulation results of chapters four and five.

180

Chapter Seven

Validation of the Simplified Analytical Method

7.1.

Introduction

The numerical simulation results presented in chapters four and five included the effects

of strain hardening and strain rate. The analytical model proposed in chapter six

assumes an elastic- plastic stress-strain curve without a strain rate effect. A set of new

numerical simulations were carried out using the steel material model assumed in the

analytical approach. The results of these new numerical simulations will be used in this

chapter to ascertain the validity and the accuracy of the proposed analytical method

presented in chapter six. This will be established by comparisons for the column axial

force - critical velocity relationship, the maximum column transverse and axial

displacements - axial force relationship, and for the various energy quantities used in the

simplified energy balance equation. Section 7.2 presents the results for a rigid body

impact and section 7.3 provides additional comparisons for vehicle impact. An

approximation is then proposed in section 7.4 to take into consideration the effect of

strain-hardening. As has been demonstrated in section 4.2.4.7 in chapter four, the effect

of strain rate may be safely ignored for vehicle impact on columns.

In the validation examples, the steel material is assumed to be S355, with a modulus of

elasticity of 206109 N/m2 and a yield stress of 355106 N/m2. Table 7.1 lists the

numerical simulations conducted and the column properties used in the validation study.

181

Table 7.1: Properties of the columns used to validate the simplified analytical method

Impact

length

Column section

Vehicle impact

Slenderne

Relative

Design

ss ratio

slenderness

axial

Boundary

Fy

compressiv

conditions

e load (kN)

( m)

Rigid impact

analysis

Column

kL

)zz

r

z z =

kL

r

UC

51.50

0.68

3800

S.S

36.05

0.476

4250

Prop.

76.9

1.02

6800

S.S

UC

61

0.81

2580

S.S

254 254 89

42.7

0.564

3200

Prop.

UC

51.50

0.68

3800

S.S

36.05

0.476

4250

Prop.

41.66

0.55

6780

S.S

UC

UC

356 368 202

This section aims to validate the analytical method for a range of values for impact

location, impact mass, slenderness ratio and for two boundary conditions. Comparisons

are made between the analytical and the ABAQUS simulation results for the following

quantities: maximum column displacement, critical impact velocity - axial force

relationship, and various energy quantities involved in the analytical method. The

correct calculation of the maximum column displacements is important because it

directly determines the energy absorption of the column and the work undertaken by the

axial force.

7.2.1.

The columns internal energy and the external work done by the column axial load, as

derived in chapter six, depend critically on the value of the maximum column transverse

displacement and the axial displacement (shortening). The maximum energy absorption

capacity of the column corresponds to the maximum column deformation before losing

stability. In the analytical approach, this displacement was derived based on a quasistatic approximation of column behaviour under a compressive axial load and in global

buckling failure mode. It represents the state of column behaviour which has a zero

182

transverse load resistance. In the numerical model, the maximum column transverse

displacement should be taken as the column permanent deformation for the critical case

when the column changes from being stable to not being stable after impact. To validate

this assumption, Figs. 7.1 to 7.3 compare the maximum column displacements

calculated using the proposed analytical method and the numerical simulations using

ABAQUS/Explicit. An excellent agreement can be seen between the two sets of results

for all levels of axial load, for different impact locations and impact energies for both

simply supported and for the propped cantilever steel columns. The results shown in

these figures further confirm the assumption that the impact location has negligible

influence on column deformation, as indicated by the near coincidence of different

curves representing different impact locations in the same graph.

ABAQUS/Explicit-Impact Location=1m

ABAQUS/Explicit-Impact Location=1.5m

P/P Design

0.8

ABAQUS/Explicit-Impact Location=2m

0.6

Simplified analytical method

0.4

0.2

0

0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

(A)

1

ABAQUS/Explicit-Impact Location=1m

ABAQUS/Explicit-Impact Location=1.5m

P/P Design

0.8

ABAQUS/Explicit-Impact Location=2m

0.6

Simplified analytical method

0.4

0.2

0

0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

(B)

Figure 7.1: Comparison between analytical and ABAQUS predictions of column maximum

displacements at different levels of axial force for the simply supported column UC

305 305 118, L=4, Impact mass = 3tonnes: (A) transverse displacement; (B) axial

displacement

183

ABAQUS/Explicit-Impact Location=1m

ABAQUS/Explicit-Impact Location=1.5m

P/PDesign

0.8

ABAQUS/Explicit-Impact Location=2m

Simplified analytical method, Impact location=1m

0.6

Simplified analytical method, Impact location=2m

0.4

0.2

0

0

0.3

0.6

0.9

1.2

1.5

(A)

ABAQUS/Explicit-Impact Location=1m

ABAQUS/Explicit-Impact Location=1.5m

P/PDesign

0.8

ABAQUS/Explicit-Impact Location=2m

Simplified analytical method, Impact location=1m

0.6

0.4

0.2

0

0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

1.2

(B)

Figure 7.2: Comparison between analytical and ABAQUS predictions of column maximum

displacements at different levels of axial force for the propped cantilever column UC

305 305 118, L=4, Impact mass = 3tonnes: (A) transverse displacement; (B) axial

displacement

184

ABAQUS/Explicit-Impact Location=1m

ABAQUS/Explicit-Impact Location=2m

P/P Design

0.8

ABAQUS/Explicit-Impact Location=2m

0.6

0.4

0.2

0

0

0.4

0.8

1.2

1.6

2.4

(A)

1

ABAQUS/Explicit-Impact Location=2m

ABAQUS/Explicit-Impact Location=4m

P/P Design

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0

0

0.4

0.8

1.2

1.6

(B)

Figure 7.3: Comparison between analytical and ABAQUS predictions of column maximum

transverse displacements at different levels of axial force for the simply supported column UC

356 406 340, L=8m, (A) Impact mass = 3tonnes; (B) Impact mass = 6tonnes

Figs. 7.4 to 7.6 compare the critical impact velocity-axial force curves between the

analytical method and the numerical simulation results for different column sections

(UC 356 406 340 and UC 305 305 118), two different boundary conditions (simply

supported and fix-ended) and two impact masses (3 tonnes and 6 tonnes). For the

simply supported columns (Figs. 7.4(A), 7.5 (impact locations=2m and 4m) and 7.6

(impact locations=2m and 4m)), very good correlation is obtained. As the impact

location moves closer to the column base, the difference between the analytical and the

simulation results increases. This reflects the increasing error of assuming the

185

intermediate plastic hinge location (mid-height for simply supported and fix-ended

boundaries, 0.6L from the column base for a propped cantilever column) to be at a

different location from the impact position. This assumption particularly affects the

accuracy of the analytical solution for the propped cantilever column (Fig. 7.4(B)) and

1.2

1.2

0.8

0.8

P/PDesign

P/PDesign

0.6

0.4

0.2

0.6

0.4

0.2

10

20

30

40

50

15

30

45

60

(A)

(B)

ABAQUS/Explicit- Impact location=1.5m

ABAQUS/Explicit- Impact location=2.0m

Simplified analytical method-impact location=1m

Simplified analytical method-impact location=1.5m

Simplified analytical method-impact location=2m

Figure 7.4: Comparison between analytical and ABAQUS predictions of critical impact velocity

- axial force curve at different levels of axial force for column UC 305 305 118, L=4, Impact

mass = 3tonnes: (A) Simply supported column; (B) Propped cantilever

1.2

P/PDesign

1

ABAQUS/Explicit- Impact location=1.0m

ABAQUS/Explicit- Impact location=2m

ABAQUS/Explicit- Impact location=4.0m

Simplified analytical method-impact location=1m

Simplified analytical method-impact location=2m

Simplified analytical method-impact location=4m

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0

0

30

60

90

120

150

Figure 7.5: Comparison between analytical and ABAQUS predictions of critical impact velocity

- axial force curve at different levels of axial force for simply supported UC 356 406 340,

L=8m, Impact mass = 3tonnes

186

75

1.2

1.2

0.8

0.8

P/PDesign

P/PDesign

0.6

0.6

0.4

0.4

0.2

0.2

0

0

16

24

40

32

(A)

20

40

60

80

100

(B)

ABAQUS/Explicit- Impact location=1.5m

ABAQUS/Explicit- Impact location=2.0m

Simplified analytical method-impact location=1m

Simplified analytical method-impact location=1.5m

Simplified analytical method-impact location=2m

ABAQUS/Explicit- Impact location=2m

ABAQUS/Explicit- Impact location=4.0m

Simplified analytical method-impact location=1m

Simplified analytical method-impact location=2m

Simplified analytical method-impact location=4m

Figure 7.6: Comparison between analytical and ABAQUS predictions of critical impact velocity

- axial force curve at different levels of axial force for a simply supported column at impact

mass = 6tonnes: (A) UC 305 305 118, L=4; (B) UC 356 406 340, L=8m

Another factor that affects the accuracy of the analytical method is the energy absorbed

by the column through distortion at the impact zone, in particular when the impact is

near the column base. This energy absorption is not included in the analytical model,

thus resulting in a lower critical impact velocity predicted by the analytical method. For

example, Fig. 7.7 shows the deformed shape of two simply supported columns when the

impact is close to the column base (0.125L). It can be clearly seen from this figure that

the deformed shape of the columns significantly differs from that assumed in the

derivation (the columns deformed into two straight segments). The distortion in the

column near the impact zone enables the column to absorb a considerable amount of

plastic strain energy thus leading to increased column resistance. This effect was not

included in the analytical model, explaining the predicted lower critical velocity when

using the analytical model than when using the FE simulation results. Nevertheless, the

analytical model predicts sufficiently accurate results in most cases and errs on the safe

side.

187

Assumed deformation shape

Impact mass

Impact mass

P=30%PDesign, V=80km/h

P=10%PDesign,V=140km/h

Figure 7.7: Deformation shapes of two simply supported steel columns, (cf Fig. 7.5, section UC

356 406 340, L=8m, impact mass = 3tonness, Impact location=1m)

During the derivation of the proposed analytical method, many assumptions have been

made. Each will contribute to the discrepancy between the analytical and the simulation

results. These assumptions affect the different energy terms in the energy balance

equation. To check where the critical source of discrepancy is, Figs. 7.8 to 7.10 provide

comparisons of the different energy quantities, corresponding to the cases in Figs 7.4

and 7.5. The correlation between the analytical and numerical outputs for the different

energy quantities is similar to that for the critical impact velocity.

188

P/PDesign

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0

0.0E+00 4.0E+04 8.0E+04 1.2E+05 1.6E+05 2.0E+05

(A)

1

P/PDesign

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0

0.0E+00

1.0E+05

2.0E+05

3.0E+05

4.0E+05

(B)

ABAQUS/Explicit-Impact location=1m

ABAQUS/Explicit-Impact location=1.5m

ABAQUS/Explicit-Impact location=2m

Simplified analytical method-Impact location=1m

Simplified analytical method-Impact location=1.5m

Simplified analytical method-Impact location=2m

Figure 7.8: Comparison between analytical and ABAQUS results for external work and plastic

dissipation energy for simply supported columns, (UC 305 305 118, L=4m, impact mass=

3tonnes, different impact locations); cf. Fig. 7.4(A) for axial load critical velocity relationships

The external work undertaken by the column axial force moving through the column

shortening increases as the applied axial force decreases. This is due to the increased

lateral deformation that the column can undergo before failure and that the external

work done is related to the square of the column lateral deformation (Eq. 6. 53 in

189

chapter six). As expected, the plastic dissipation energy also increases as the axial load

in the column decreases, confirming that the column can deform more before bucking

failure if the axial load is small.

In all cases, since the external work is small compared to the plastic dissipation energy,

the level of inaccuracy in the external work figures may be considered acceptable.

Therefore, the level of accuracy in the calculated plastic dissipation energy determines

the overall accuracy of the critical velocity - axial load relationship. When the

agreement is very good (Figs 7.8 and 7.9), the agreement between the analytical and the

ABAQUS results for the column critical velocity - axial force relationship is very good

(Fig. 7.4). Otherwise, the discrepancy is relatively high. Nevertheless, the analytical

model gives critical velocities on the safe side.

190

P/PDesign

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0

0.0E+00 1.0E+05 2.0E+05 3.0E+05 4.0E+05 5.0E+05

(A)

1

P/PDesign

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0

0.0E+00 2.0E+05 4.0E+05 6.0E+05 8.0E+05 1.0E+06

(B)

ABAQUS/Explicit-Impact location=1m

ABAQUS/Explicit-Impact location=1.5m

ABAQUS/Explicit-Impact location=2m

Simplified analytical method-Impact location=1m

Simplified analytical method-Impact location=1.5m

Simplified analytical method-Impact location=2m

Figure 7.9: Comparison between analytical and ABAQUS results for external work and plastic

dissipation energy for a propped cantilever column (UC 305 305 118, L=4m, impact mass =3

tonnes, different impact locations) cf. Fig. 7.4(B) for axial load - critical velocity relationships

191

P/PDesign

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0

0.0E+00 2.4E+05 4.8E+05 7.2E+05 9.6E+05 1.2E+06

(A)

1

P/PDesign

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0

(B)

ABAQUS/Explicit-Impact location=1m

ABAQUS/Explicit-Impact location=1.5m

ABAQUS/Explicit-Impact location=2m

Simplified analytical method-Impact location=1m

Simplified analytical method-Impact location=1.5m

Simplified analytical method-Impact location=2m

Figure 7.10: Comparison between analytical and ABAQUS results for external work and plastic

dissipation energy for a simply supported column (UC 356 406 340, L=8m, impact mass = 3

tonnes, different impact locations), cf. Fig. 7.5 for axial load - critical velocity relationships

of the critical impact velocities of axially preloaded steel columns under transverse rigid

impact. Comparisons of the different energy quantities indicate good agreement

192

between the numerical and analytical results. This validation suggests that column

behaviour is predicted with good accuracy.

7.3.

deformation at column global failure requires the input of the columns resistance to a

static force at the position of impact. This resistance may be obtained using a static

finite element simulation. Fig. 7.11 shows an example of such simulation results. As

explained in section 6.2.3 in chapter six, this resistance may also be determined

analytically, using the method in Eurocode 3 or the newly developed proposal within

this research. In this validation research, the ABAQUS simulation results are first used

to ensure any error from estimating the column transverse resistance is minimized.

Afterwards, in section 7.3.4, the effects of using different methods to predict column

transverse resistance are evaluated.

6.E+05

5.E+05

(P/PDe sign)=1

4.E+05

(P/PDe sign)=0.85

(P/PDe sign)=0.65

3.E+05

(P/PDe sign)=0.43

(P/PDe sign)=0.25

2.E+05

(P/PDe sign)=0.085

1.E+05

0.E+00

0

60

120

180

240

300

Figure 7.11: Numerical simulations results for the transverse force - transverse displacement

relationship of a simply supported column UC 305305118 under different axial load ratios.

resistance into Eq. 6.35 in chapter six. Tables 7.2 to 7.4 compare the calculated values

of vehicle maximum deformation with the numerical simulation results. The values of

the vehicle frontal stiffness (K1) are 510kN/m, 463kN/m and 546 kN/m as calculated in

section 5.3.1 in chapter five representing the stiffness of the Chevrolet pick-up 1994

vehicle impacting on steel columns with section sizes of UC 305 305 118, UC

25425489 and UC 356368202 respectively. Good agreement is achieved between

193

the two sets of results. In the case of vehicle deformation before touching the vehicle

engine, the numerical and analytical values of vehicle deformation are very close. When

the vehicle deformation reaches the engine position, it is assumed that the vehicle acts

as a rigid impactor and does not consume any impact energy. This is indicated in Tables

7.2 to 7.4 by the symbol > Cmax. It is clear that the analytical method has correctly

predicted this in all cases.

Table 7.2: The calculated values of vehicle maximum deformation as compared with the

numerical simulation results for a steel column section UC 305305118, K1=510kN/m

Simply supported column

P/PDesign

P/PDesign

Analytical

ABAQUS

0.233

0.247

0.85

0.401

0.424

0.82

0.65

0.43

0.25

> Cmax

> Cmax

> Cmax

> Cmax

> Cmax

> Cmax

0.60

0.40

0.25

Analytical

ABAQUS

0.454

0.461

> Cmax

(0.625)

> Cmax

> Cmax

> Cmax

> Cmax

> Cmax

> Cmax

> Cmax

Table 7.3: The calculated values of vehicle maximum deformation as compared with the

numerical simulation results for a steel column section UC 25425489, K1=463kN/m

Simply supported column

P/PDesign

1

P/PDesign

Analytical

ABAQUS

0.169

0.181

Analytical

ABAQUS

0.357

0.373

>Cmax

(0.625)

0.65

0.44

0.456

0.65

>Cmax

>Cmax

0.43

0.6

0.613

0.43

>Cmax

>Cmax

0.25

>Cmax

>Cmax

0.25

>Cmax

>Cmax

Table 7.4: The calculated values of vehicle maximum deformation as compared with the

numerical simulation results for a steel column section UC 356368202, K1=546kN/m

0.85

0.261

0.273

0.85

0.6

Crush displacement, C(m)

P/PDesign

Analytical

ABAQUS

1

0.85

0.65

0.43

0.622

>Cmax

>Cmax

>Cmax

0.51

>Cmax

>Cmax

>Cmax

0.25

>Cmax

>Cmax

194

Having determined the vehicle deformation, the energy balance equations derived in

chapter six can be used now to determine the critical impact velocity of the vehicle that

can cause the failure of steel columns. Figs. 7.12 to 7.14 compare the numerical and

analytical results. Good agreement can be seen between the two sets of results,

especially for simply supported columns and for columns with high axial load ratios.

Including the effects of vehicle stiffness gives much higher critical impact velocities

than assuming a rigid impact mass. This considerable difference in column critical

impact velocity highlights the importance of including the energy absorbed by the

vehicle in design.

1.2

1

Rigid/ ABAQUS

Rigid/ Analytical

Vehicle/ ABAQUS

Vehicle/ Analytical

0.8

(P/PDesign)

(P/PDesign)

1.2

Rigid/ ABAQUS

Rigid/ Analytical

Vehicle / ABAQUS

Vehicle/ Analytical

0.6

0.4

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0.2

18

27

36

45

12

24

36

48

(B)

(A)

Figure 7.12: Comparison between analytical and ABAQUS predictions of critical impact

velocity - axial force curve at different levels of axial force for the steel column section UC

25425489: (A) simply supported column (B) propped cantilever column.

195

60

1.2

1.2

Rigid/ ABAQUS

Rigid/ Analytical

Vehicle/ ABAQUS

Vehicle/ Analytical

0.6

0.4

Rigid/ Analytical

Vehicle/ ABAQUS

1

(P/P Design )

(P/P Design )

0.8

Rigid/ ABAQUS

Vehicle/ Analytical

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0.2

15

30

45

60

20

40

60

80

(A)

(B)

Figure 7.13: Comparison between analytical and ABAQUS predictions of critical impact

velocity - axial force curve at different levels of axial force for the steel column section UC

305305118: (A) simply supported column; (B) propped cantilever column.

1.2

Rigid/ ABAQUS

Rigid/ Analytical

(P/P Design)

Vehicle/ ABAQUS

Vehicle/ Analytical

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0

0

20

40

60

80

Figure 7.14: Comparison between analytical and ABAQUS predictions of critical impact

velocity - axial force curve at different levels of axial force for the simply supported steel

column section UC 356368202.

The change in accuracy at different column axial load levels (that is, being better at

higher axial loads) may be explained by the role played by the vehicle. Figs. 7.15 and

7.16 compare the analytical and the simulation values of energy absorption by the

vehicle. The agreement is excellent, confirming the accuracy of the vehicle model. At

high column axial loads, as shown in Tables 7.2 to 7.4, column failure was before the

vehicle had deformed to the engine position. The accuracy of the analytical method

196

depends largely on the accuracy of predicting vehicle behaviour, hence the good

accuracy achieved for the vehicle energy absorption is reflected in the good accuracy of

the overall prediction of the critical impact velocity. When column failure occurs after

contacting the vehicle engine (Fig.7.13(B) and Fig.7.14), the value of the energy

absorbed by the vehicle was constant and equal to the maximum energy absorption

capacity of the vehicle (Eq. 6.36 in chapter six). Therefore, in this case, the accuracy of

predicting the critical impact velocity depends solely upon the accuracy of predicting

the energy absorbed by the column. As shown in section 7.2 which discussed the rigid

1.2

1.2

0.8

0.8

(P/PDesign)

(P/PDesign)

0.6

0.4

0.4

0.2

0.6

ABAQUS

0.2

ABAQUS

Analytical

Analytical

0

0.0E+00 2.4E+04 4.8E+04 7.2E+04 9.6E+04 1.2E+05

Figure 7.15: Comparison between analytical and ABAQUS results for energy absorbed by

vehicle for the steel column section UC 305305118: (A) simply supported column; (B)

propped cantilever column.

1.2

0.8

0.8

(P/PDesign)

(P/P Design)

1.2

0.6

0.4

0.2

0.6

0.4

ABAQUS

ABAQUS

0.2

Analytical

0

0.E+00 2.E+04 4.E+04 6.E+04 8.E+04 1.E+05

Analytical

0

0.0E+00 2.4E+04 4.8E+04 7.2E+04 9.6E+04 1.2E+05

Figure 7.16: Comparison between analytical and ABAQUS results for energy absorbed by

vehicle for the steel column section UC 25425489: (A) simply supported column; (B)

propped cantilever column.

197

The difference in the analytical and numerical solutions for column energy and work

done may be explained by the differences in the column lateral displacement and axial

deformation, which are shown in Figs. 7.17 and 7.18. Reasonable agreement is shown

between the analytical and simulation results for transverse displacements. The

differences in axial displacements are high, indicating that the column deformation

shape may be revised to improve the accuracy of the analytical solution. Nevertheless,

since the analytical solution of the critical impact velocity is on the safe side and the

difference between the analytical and numerical simulation results is within an

acceptable range, this refinement has not been attempted in this research.

1.2

1.2

ABAQUS-Rigid impact

ABAQUS-Rigid impact

ABAQUS-Vehicle impact

ABAQUS-Vehicle impact

Analytical

0.8

P/P Design

P/P Design

0.6

0.6

0.4

0.4

0.2

0.2

0

0.E+00

Analytical

0.8

0

1.E+02

2.E+02

3.E+02

4.E+02

0.E+00

Transverse displacement(mm)

2.E+01

3.E+01

5.E+01

6.E+01

Axial displacement(mm)

(A)

1.2

1.2

ABAQUS-Rigid impact

ABAQUS-Rigid impact

ABAQUS-Vehicle impact

ABAQUS-Vehicle impact

Analytical

0.8

P/PDesign

P/P Design

0.6

0.6

0.4

0.4

0.2

0.2

0

0.E+00

Analytical

0.8

1.E+02

2.E+02

3.E+02

4.E+02

5.E+02

Transverse displacement(mm)

0.0E+00

3.0E+01

6.0E+01

9.0E+01

1.2E+02

Axial displacement(mm)

(B)

Figure 7.17: Comparison between analytical and ABAQUS results for axial and transverse

displacements of the steel column section UC 305305118: (A) simply supported column; (B)

propped cantilever.

198

1.2

1.2

ABAQUS-Rigid impact

ABAQUS-Rigid impact

ABAQUS-Vehicle impact

ABAQUS-Vehicle impact

Analytical

0.8

Analytical

P/P Design

P/P Design

0.6

0.8

0.6

`

0.4

0.4

0.2

0.2

0

0.E+00

0

1.E+02

2.E+02

3.E+02

4.E+02

0.E+00

2.E+01

3.E+01

5.E+01

6.E+01

8.E+01

Axial displacement(mm)

(A)

1.2

1.2

ABAQUS-Rigid impact

ABAQUS-Rigid impact

ABAQUS-Vehicle impact

Analytical

P/P Design

P/P Design

1

0.8

0.6

0.6

0.4

0.2

0.2

1.E+02

2.E+02

3.E+02

Analytical

0.8

0.4

0

0.E+00

ABAQUS-Vehicle impact

4.E+02

0

0.E+00

2.E+01

5.E+01

7.E+01

9.E+01

Axial displacement(mm)

(B)

Figure 7.18: Comparison between analytical and ABAQUS results for axial and transverse

displacements of the steel column section UC 25425489: (A) simply supported column; (B)

propped cantilever

The discrepancy between the analytical and numerical simulation results for the critical

impact velocity may also be explained by comparing the values of plastic energy and

the external work used in the energy balance equation. The results are shown in Fig.

7.19(A and B). The accuracy for predicting column energy absorption and work done is

similar for different axial load ratios. However, at high axial load level (load ratio >

0.6), the column energy absorption and external work are small compared to the energy

absorption by the vehicle. Therefore, the analytical solution for the critical velocity is

still good because the analytical results for predicting vehicle energy absorption is very

accurate. At lower load ratios, since the energy absorbed by the vehicle is fixed and

199

smaller than the energy absorption by the column, the inaccuracy in predicting column

energy absorption is reflected in the critical velocity results. However, compared to the

prediction results of the critical impact velocity for a rigid mass impact in the previous

section, including the realistic condition of vehicle impact reduces the difference

between the analytical and numerical simulation results by reducing the influence of the

1.2

1.2

0.8

0.8

(P/P Design )

(P/P Design )

0.6

0.4

0.2

0.6

0.4

0.2

Energy components(Joule)

Simply supported column

1.2

1.2

0.8

0.8

(P/PDesign )

(P/PDesign )

(A)

0.6

0.4

0.2

0.6

0.4

0.2

0

0

0.E+00 2.E+04 4.E+04 6.E+04 8.E+04 1.E+05

(B)

Analytical-Column's plastic energy

ABAQUS-External work

Analytical-External work

ABAQUS-Vehicle energy

Analytical-Vehicle energy

Figure 7.19: Comparison of energy components for vehicle impact on (A) Steel column section

UC 305305118; (B) Steel column section UC 25425489

200

values of K1 and Cmax

In the previous sub-sections, the proposed simplified analytical method was validated

against different cases of column sections and boundary conditions. However, changing

either the vehicle stiffness K1 or the vehicle crush distance Cmax will change the energy

absorption capacity of the vehicle. In order to ensure that the analytical method is

generally applicable, comparisons were made between the analytical and simulation

results for different values of K1 and Cmax. In this study, the vehicle frontal stiffness and

the vehicle maximum crush distance were separately changed to be 50% or 2 times the

values used in the previous sections. Fig. 7.20 (A and B) shows the assumed vehicle

load-deformation relationships. Changing one of these two factors alone would change

the maximum vehicle energy absorption proportionally.

7.5E+05

7.5E+05

Cmax=0.625m

K1=2K

6.0E+05

Im pact force(N)

Impact force(N)

K1=K

K1=0.5K

4.5E+05

3.0E+05

1.5E+05

Cmax=1.25m

Cmax=0.3125m

6.0E+05

4.5E+05

3.0E+05

1.5E+05

0.0E+00

0.0E+00

0.14

0.28

0.42

0.56

0.7

0.3

0.6

0.9

1.2

(A)

(B)

Figure7.20: Values of vehicle stiffness and vehicle maximum crush distance used in the

validation study

Figs. 7.21 and 7.22 compare the simulation and analytical results for two simply

supported steel column sections. The good agreement shown in these figures confirms

the general applicability of the analytical method for different vehicle characteristics.

The results in Figs. 7.21(B) and 7.22(B) clearly indicate that, because changing the

vehicle maximum crush displacement (Cmax) only proportionally changes the vehicle

energy absorption capacity, the critical impact velocity increases as Cmax is increased. In

contrast, when only the vehicle frontal stiffness is increased, the results in Fig. 7.21(A)

and 7.22(A) show cross-over. This is because increasing this value may be either

201

1.5

beneficial or detrimental to the column. Before the vehicle has deformed to the engine

position, a more rigid vehicle (higher K1) is detrimental to the column. However, after

the vehicle has deformed to the engine position, a higher value of K1 (while keeping

Cmax the same) means more vehicle energy absorption, so being beneficial to the

column. This cross-over behaviour was accurately predicted by the analytical model.

1.2

(P/PDesign)

ABAQUS-K1=1K

ABAQUS-K1=2K

ABAQUS-K1=0.5K

Analytical- K1=1K

Analytical- K1=2K

Analytical- K1=0.5K

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0

5

15

25

35

45

55

(A)

1.2

(P/PDesign)

1

ABAQUS-Cmax=0.625m

ABAQUS -Cmax=1.25m

ABAQUS-Cmax=0.3125m

Analytical-Cmax=0.625m

Analytical- Cmax=1.25m

Analytical- Cmax=0.3125m

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

(B)

Figure 7.21: Simply supported column section UC 305305118: (A) using three values of

vehicle stiffness, and (B) using three values of vehicle crush distance.

202

1.2

(P/P Design)

ABAQUS-K1=K

ABAQUS-K1=2K

ABAQUS-K1=0.5K

Analytical- K1=K

Analytical- K1=2K

Analytical-K1=0.5K1

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0

5

15

25

35

45

Critical impact velocity (km/h)

(A)

1.2

(P/PDesign)

1

ABAQUS-Cmax=0.625m

ABAQUS-Cmax=1.25m

0.8

0.6

ABAQUS- Cmax=0.3125m

Analytical- Cmax=0.625m

Analytical- Cmax=1.25m

0.4

Analytical- Cmax=0.3125m

0.2

0

10

20

30

40

50

(B)

Figure 7.22: Simply supported column section UC 25425489: (A) using three values of

vehicle stiffness, and (B) using three values of vehicle crush distance.

resistance of steel columns

The comparisons in the previous sections were based on calculating the column

transverse resistance using the finite element method; the purpose of these comparisons

was to minimize errors in estimating the column transverse resistance. This section

assesses the accuracy of using the two analytical methods in section 6.2.3 to calculate

the column transverse resistance. For the simulated cases, Fig. 7.23 presents the column

axial load - transverse resistance relationships, calculated using the two analytical

methods and compares them with the ABAQUS static simulation results. The Eurocode

3 results are very safe and the alternative calculation results are in good agreement with

the ABAQUS static simulation results. In particular, when the applied axial load ratio is

high (the axial load ratio being defined as the ratio of the applied axial load to the

column compression resistance calculated using Eurocode 3), the Eurocode 3 gives very

low values of column transverse resistance.

203

1.2

1

ABAQUS-(S.S.)

(P/P Design )

Proposed equation-(S.S.)

0.8

ABAQUS-(Prop.)

Proposed equation-(Prop.)

0.6

EC3-(S.S.)

EC3-(Prop.)

0.4

0.2

0

0.0E+00 2.4E+05 4.8E+05 7.2E+05 9.6E+05 1.2E+06

Transverse Force ( N)

(A)

1.2

1

"ABAQUS-(S.S.)

Proposed equation-(S.S.)

(P/P Design )

0.8

ABAQUS-(Prop.)

Proposed equation-(Prop.)

0.6

EC3-(S.S.)

EC3-(Prop.)

0.4

0.2

0

0.0E+00 3.2E+05 6.4E+05 9.6E+05 1.3E+06 1.6E+06

Transverse Force ( N)

(B)

1.2

(P /P Design )

ABAQUS-(S.S.)

Proposed equation-(S.S.)

0.8

ABAQUS-(Prop.)

Proposed equation-(Prop.)

0.6

EC3-(S.S.)

0.4

EC3-(Prop.)

0.2

0

0.0E+00 7.2E+05 1.4E+06 2.2E+06 2.9E+06 3.6E+06

Transverse Force ( N)

(C)

Figure 7.23: Comparison of the maximum transverse resistance of the steel column between the

numerical simulation using ABAQUS, the proposed equation (Eq. 6.45) and EC3 (Eq. 6.37):

(A) steel column section UC 25425489; (B) steel column section UC 305305118; (C) steel

column section UC 356368202

204

Figs. 7.24 and 7.25 compare the critical velocity results by using the column transverse

resistance in Fig. 7.23. Not surprisingly, using the column transverse resistance from the

proposed method of this research (section 6.2.3) gives column critical velocities very

close to those when using the ABAQUS column transverse resistance. The low values

of column transverse resistance calculated by Eurocode 3 are directly reflected in the

critical velocity results. This is especially the case when the applied axial loads on the

columns were high and in the cases before the vehicle deformation reached the vehicle

engine. When the vehicle deformation has reached the engine position, the column

transverse resistance had no effect because the vehicle energy absorption became the

same and equal to the maximum value (Eq. 6.36). This trend is clearly shown in Figs.

1.2

1.2

0.8

0.8

(P/PDesign)

(P/PDesign)

0.6

0.4

Before the contact with

the engine

0.2

the engine

0.4

0.2

0

0

0

10

20

30

40

50

12

24

36

48

60

Simply supported column

(P/PDes ign)

0.6

1 .5

1

0 .5

0

253 54 5556 57 5

Figure 7.24: Comparison between using ABAQUS, EC3 and the proposed equation to predict

the critical impact velocity - axial force curve at different levels of axial force for the steel

column section UC 305305118.

205

1.2

1.2

0.8

0.8

(P/PDesign)

(P/PDesign)

0.6

0.4

0.2

10

20

30

the engine

40

50

10

20

30

40

50

Simply supported column

(P/PDes ign)

0.4

0.2

the engine

0.6

1 .5

1

0 .5

0

253 54 5556 57 5

Figure 7.25: Comparison between using ABAQUS, EC3 and the proposed equation to predict

the critical impact velocity - axial force curve at different levels of axial force for the steel

column section UC 25425489.

Section 6.2.6 in chapter six has explained how the strain hardening effect of steel may

be incorporated in the analytical method which assumes a linear elastic-perfectly plastic

stress-strain curve for steel; the equivalent yield stress in the analytical method is the

average of the real yield stress and the ultimate tensile stress. Fig. 7.26(A and B)

compares the analytical values of the critical impact velocity with the ABAQUS

simulation results with, and without, the inclusion of the effects of strain hardening. For

simplicity, rigid impact was assumed. As explained in section 7.3, including the vehicle

effect would improve the accuracy of the analytical solutions. As can be seen from this

figure, using the equivalent yield stress in the analytical approach increases the critical

impact velocity and is suitable for predicting the critical impact velocity if the strain

hardening effect is to be included.

206

1.2

ABAQUS-Without strain hardening

Analytical-Without strain hardening

P/PDesign

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0

0

10

20

30

40

50

(A)

ABAQUS-Without strain hardening

1.0

0.8

P/PDesign

0.6

0.4

0.2

0.0

0

20

40

60

80

100

(B)

Figure 7.26: The effect of strain hardening on the critical impact velocity of simply supported

steel columns subjected to transverse rigid impact: (A) section UC 305 305 118, L=4 m,

impact mass = 6 tonnes, impact location =1.5m; (B) section UC356 406 340, L=8m, impact

mass = 6 tonnes, impact location =2m.

7.5. Summary

In this chapter, the accuracy of the proposed analytical method was checked against a

range of ABAQUS simulation results, by comparing the maximum column

displacements-axial force curves, the critical impact velocity-axial force curves, the

external work-axial load curves and the plastic dissipation energy-axial load curves. In

most cases, the agreement between the analytical method results and the ABAQUS

simulation results was very good. Moderately large inaccuracy occurred for propped

cantilever columns and when the impact location was close to the column base (when

207

the impact location < .25L measured from the column base). Under this circumstance,

the deformation shape of the column at failure was not as assumed in the derivations

and the column distortion near the impact location became an important factor but it is

not included in the simplified analytical method. Nevertheless, the simplified analytical

method gave critical impact velocities on the safe side.

Assuming a rigid impact gave a lower critical impact velocity than in the case of a

flexible vehicle impact, so the results of rigid impact were on the safe side. However, an

accurate prediction of column behaviour and critical impact velocity should include the

energy absorption of the flexible vehicle. In fact, by including a vehicle model in the

analytical method, which makes the analytical method more realistic, the accuracy of

the analytical method was improved. This was because including the vehicle energy

absorption reduces the effects of inaccurate assumptions on column behaviour. This

research demonstrated that vehicle behaviour was modelled accurately.

The results of validation examples using different vehicle characteristics (vehicle

stiffness and vehicle maximum crush distance) confirmed that the proposed analytical

method was generally applicable for vehicles with different load-deformation

characteristics.

For accurate prediction of critical impact velocity, the correct maximum vehicle

deformation should be used. Since this value is calculated based on the column static

transverse resistance, the column resistance should be calculated accurately. The results

of this chapter indicate that the Eurocode 3 results for column transverse resistance are

safe, but with a high margin of safety. The critical velocity results using the proposed

method of calculating column transverse resistance were in much better agreement with

the results using the ABAQUS static simulation of column transverse resistance.

Without including the effect of strain hardening in modelling column behaviour would

reduce the critical impact velocity, thereby making the analytical results on the safe

side. Should strain hardening of steel be included, then it is acceptable to use an

effective yield stress and this effective yield stress is the average of the actual yield

stress and ultimate tensile stress of steel.

208

Chapter Eight

Assessment of the Current Eurocode 1 Design Methods for

Steel Columns under Vehicle Impact

8.1.

Introduction

In EN 1991 (Eurocode 1) provisions are made for the analysis and design of structures

to resist vehicle impact. The effect of vehicle impact is treated either as an equivalent

static force on the structure as in EN 1991-1-1 (Eurocode1, 2002) or as an approximate

dynamic action as in EN 1991-1-7 (Eurocode1, 2006). This chapter assesses these

requirements and evaluates the applicability of these requirements. In addition, a

possible approach is proposed to improve the accuracy of the design method.

8.2.

The equivalent static force is either calculated using a simple equation (Eurocode1,

2002) or taken as constant values (Eurocode1, 2006, Eurocode1, 2003). Whilst the basis

for the calculation equation is clear, the problem with using this equation is that it is

necessary to obtain the structural and vehicle deformations from other means. This is

not really feasible in design calculations. Otherwise, this design method becomes

redundant. Therefore, this research will not consider this approach any further and will

assess the constant impact forces approach. In section 4.3 of EN 1991-1-7, the

suggested equivalent static forces are 500kN, 700kN and 1000kN respectively for

structural members subjected to transverse vehicle impact in the direction of normal

travel in urban areas, rural areas and on national roads respectively. In addition, sections

4.7.2.1 and 5.6.2.1 of Eurocode 1: Part 2 (Eurocode1, 2003) also gives constant design

values for bridges due to vehicle collision, being 1000kN and 500kN in the parallel and

perpendicular directions of vehicle travel respectively.

To investigate the validity of the equivalent static force assumption in the design of

steel columns subjected to vehicle impact, comparisons between numerical simulation

results and design values were carried out for the four steel column sections shown in

209

Table 8.1. The stress-strain curve of the steel (S355) is assumed to be elastic-perfectly

plastic with a modulus of elasticity of 206109 N/m2 and a yield stress of 355106 N/m2.

The validation procedure is as follows:

a. The axial force in the column at which the column fails under vehicle impact at a

certain speed was determined. The simplified numerical vehicle model described

in chapter five was used here to simulate the effect of vehicle impact. Three

impact velocities, 50km/h, 80 km/h and 120 km/h, were considered, representing

speed limits in urban areas, in rural areas and on national roads respectively.

b. Under the same column axial load from (a), the equivalent transverse static force

to cause the column to fail was obtained from a nonlinear static analysis using

ABAQUS. This force was considered to represent the equivalent static design

force corresponding to that of the vehicle impact speed.

Table 8.1: Steel column properties used in the numerical simulations

Column

length ( m)

Column section

Impact

direction

UC 254 254 89

Weak axis

Weak axis

Weak axis

Weak axis

In the static analysis (step b), the lateral force can be applied on the steel column as a

pressure load with the area of application being taken as 250mmcolumn width for car

collision and 500mmcolumn width for lorry collisions as suggested in EN 1991-1-7

(Eurocode1, 2002, Ferrer et al., 2010), see Fig. 8.1. The location of the lateral load

application was suggested in the code to be 0.5 m for car collision and 1.5m for lorry

collision. In this research, the vehicle considered was a Chevrolet 1994 Pick-up vehicle.

Since this does not completely match any of the above two vehicle types, the area of

pressure load application was taken as 350mmcolumn width and the location of impact

was taken as the same as the actual impact location measured in the numerical

simulation model (section 5.3.1.2 in chapter five), which was 0.811m.

Fig. 8.2 compares the equivalent static forces of this research with the design equivalent

static forces suggested by EN 1991-1-7.

210

350mm

Figure 8.1: Area of application of the equivalent lateral static load according to EN 1991-1-7

(Eurocode1, 2006)

4.0E+06

3.5E+06

Impact velocity=50km/h

Impact velocity=80km/h

3.0E+06

Impact velocity=120km/h

2.5E+06

2.0E+06

1.5E+06

1.0E+06

5.0E+05

EC1-F=1000kN

EC1-F=700kN

EC1-F=500kN

0.0E+00

Section

25425489

Section

Section

Section

305305118 356368202 356406340

Figure 8.2: Comparison of equivalent static forces between this research and EN 1991-1-7

design values.

It can be seen from Fig. 8.2 that, at the same impact speed, the equivalent static force

values should depend on the column, as represented by the column size. The force

increases as the column size increases. Using a constant value for all column sizes, as in

the current Eurocode 1, is not accurate.

The results in Fig. 8.2 suggest that the values suggested by Eurocode 1 may be

considered acceptable for small and medium sized columns that are commonly used in

buildings of a few storeys high, as represented by the two smaller columns in the figure.

211

For large columns, the Eurocode 1 design values are much lower than the true

equivalent lateral static load; therefore, using the Eurocode 1 values for such columns

may lead to an unsafe design. When designing for columns under vehicle impact, one

design objective would be to calculate the column axial compression resistance under

the equivalent static load for vehicle impact. Using the Eurocode 1 values for the larger

columns would give higher column resistances than the true values. Table 8.2 presents a

comparison of the axial load capacities (as load ratios) obtained from using the

Eurocode 1 static values and the ABAQUS equivalent static values. It can be seen from

this table that using the Eurocode 1 equivalent static design forces gives considerably

higher axial load values than the true column axial resistances under vehicle impact

velocity at the high velocities of 80km/h and 120km/h. Using the Eurocode 1 equivalent

static loads gave column axial compression resistances of 3.86 and 2.33 times the

column axial resistances when using the ABAQUS equivalent static loads for an impact

velocity of 120 km/h. The differences are smaller at lower impact velocities, but they

are still considerable for an impact velocity of 80 km/h. For the low impact velocity of

50km/h, the Eurocode 1 equivalent static loads may be considered usable because the

overestimation by using the Eurocode 1 values is around 20%.

Table 8.2: Comparison of axial load ratios between using Eurocode 1 and ABAQUS equivalent

static lateral loads

resistance without impact)

UC U356 368 202

UC U356 406 340

EC1/

ABAQUS

Using

EC1

Using

ABAQUS

EC1/

ABAQUS

Impact velocity

km/h

1.1875

1.00

0.812

1.23

0.5

1.784

0.985

0.638

1.543

0.2

3.86

0.945

0.406

2.328

Using

EC1

Using

ABAQUS

50 (Urban areas)

0.95

0.8

80 (Rural areas)

0.892

0.772

8.3.

approach can be used to address the effect of vehicle impact on structures. In this

approach, vehicle impact can be treated as a dynamic impulse. The maximum value of

the force and the time duration of the impulse can be calculated using Eqs. 2.2 and 2.3

in chapter two. In these two equations, the stiffness ke is suggested to be the equivalent

212

elastic stiffness of the impacting object (vehicle) for the case of hard impact or elastic

stiffness of the impacted structure (column) for the case of soft impact. However, the

design code gives no guidance on how to define hard or soft impacts. In fact, results of

the numerical simulations presented in chapters five and seven of this thesis have shown

that, in most cases, both the vehicle and the steel column may experience considerable

deformations during the impact. Therefore, both stiffness terms should be included.

This section will first assess the effects of using either the column or vehicle elastic

stiffness in Eqs. 2.2 and 2.3. Afterwards, it will propose a method of including both

stiffness values and assess its accuracy.

A.

Vehicle stiffness corresponding to each column size can be obtained from the numerical

simulations in chapter five. However, it can also be calculated analytically using the

proposed equation in the same chapter (Eq. 5.14) provided that the required information

about the vehicle crush test on a rigid barrier is available. For the Chevrolet 1994 Pickup impacting on a steel column with section size UC 305 305 118, the vehicle

stiffness was 510kN/m (refer to section 5.3.1.2 in chapter five). Therefore, the

equivalent impact impulse can be calculated as follows:

F = vr K1 M = vr 510000 1840 = vr 30633.3kg / sec.

t = M / K1 = 1840 / 510000 = 0.06sec

B.

To account for the effect of axial compressive force on the column elastic lateral

stiffness, the column stiffness values were calculated from the lateral load-deformation

curves extracted from the nonlinear static simulations conducted in chapter seven (Fig.

7.11).

Alternatively, Eq. 6.42 in chapter six can be used to determine the general equation for

column elastic stiffness taking into account the axial compression load and the location

of the lateral load as follows:

kcol =

F

W

213

2 EI

( 2 2 P )W L

F= k L

( L x) x

2 EI

P )W L

2 EI

k 2 L2

( 2 2 P ) L

( L x) x

........................................................................... 8.1

=

= k L

W

( L x) x

(

kcol

Where kcol. is the lateral stiffness of the steel column under axial load. Fig. 8.3 compares

the calculation results using Eq. 8.1 with the numerical simulation results.

1.2

P/PDesign

1

S.S-ABAQUS

S.S-Eq.8.1

Prop.-ABAQUS

Prop.-Eq.8.1

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0

0.0E+00 1.6E+07 3.2E+07 4.8E+07 6.4E+07 8.0E+07

Figure 8.3: Comparison of column elastic stiffness between using Eq. 8.1 and ABAQUS

simulation results for the simply supported steel column UC 305 305 118

For example, for a Chevrolet 1994 Pick-up vehicle impact on a simply supported steel

column with a section size of UC 305 305 118 under an axial load ratio (P/PDesign) of

0.425, the equivalent dynamic impulse can be calculated as follows:

t = M / kcol = 1840 / 22937710 = 0.00895sec

Fig. 8.4 compares the dynamic impulse force-time relationships for the same case to

illustrate the vastly different characteristics that may be obtained by using only the

vehicle or the column stiffness value.

214

2.2E+05

vr 205439.5kg / sec

Force (N)

1.8E+05

1.3E+05

Using column stiffness

8.8E+04

vr 30633.3kg / sec.

4.4E+04

0.0E+00

0.00

0.01

0.03

0.04

0.05

0.07

Time (Sec.)

Figure 8.4: Comparison of idealised dynamic impulses by using only the vehicle stiffness or the

column stiffness for column size UC 305 305 118 under impact by a Chevrolet 1994 Pick-up.

The dynamic impulse was applied on the steel column using the AMPLITUDE option

in ABAQUS to determine the critical impact velocity to cause column failure. Figs. 8.5

and 8.6 compare the critical impact velocities from using the dynamic impulses and

from using the vehicle impact simulations in chapter seven.

215

1.2

(P/P Design )

0.8

0.6

modification

0.4

ABAQUS-Impact analysis

0.2

0

0

12

24

36

48

60

(A)

1.2

(P/P Design )

0.8

0.6

modification

ABAQUS-Impact analysis

0.4

0.2

0

0

24

48

72

96

120

(B)

Figure 8.5: Comparison of critical impact velocity-axial load curves between using dynamic

impulse simulation (EC1) and vehicle simulation for steel column section UC 305305118:

(A) simply supported column; (B) propped cantilever column

216

1.2

1

(P/PDesign)

0.8

0.6

modification

0.4

ABAQUS-Impact analysis

0.2

0

0

18

27

36

45

(A)

1.2

1

(P/PDesign)

0.8

EC1-Using column stiffness

0.6

EC1-Uisng the proposed

modification

0.4

ABAQUS-Impact analysis

0.2

0

0

20

40

60

80

100

(B)

Figure 8.6: Comparison of critical impact velocity-axial load curves between using dynamic

impulse simulation (EC1) and vehicle simulation for steel column section UC 25425489: (A)

simply supported column; (B) propped cantilever column.

For the cases considered, the vehicle was more flexible than the columns. Therefore, a

large proportion of the impact energy was absorbed by the vehicle. The results in Figs.

8.5 and 8.6 show that, by using the column stiffness only, meaning ignoring the energy

absorbed by the vehicle, the critical impact velocities were underestimated significantly.

If using the vehicle stiffness only, the impulse analysis method can give close results to

the vehicle impact simulation method at higher axial load ratios, but overestimate the

critical impact velocities at lower axial load ratios. This is mainly because it is not

appropriate to use the vehicle elastic stiffness after the vehicle deformation has reached

the engine box.

217

After the vehicle deformation has reached the vehicle engine position, the vehicle

becomes rigid and cannot absorb any more impact energy. The following section will

present a modification to take this into consideration.

8.3.1. A proposed modification

According to the assessment results presented in the previous sub-section, it is possible

to use the impulse dynamic analysis method to simulate vehicle impact on columns, but

two modifications should be made. These are explained below.

1-Both the column and the vehicle stiffness should be included when calculating the

impact force. According to energy absorption:

F2

F2

vr 2

+

=

M

2 K1 2 kcol .

2

................................................................................................................. 8.2

2- The vehicle energy absorption value reaches the maximum when the vehicle

deformation has reached the engine position. This gives:

K1 2

F2

v2

C max +

= r M ............................................................................................................ 8.3

2

2kcol .

2

Where Cmax is the maximum vehicle deformation before the engine box.

Based on these two modifications, the new impulse can be estimated as in the following

procedure:

(i) The equivalent impact force is first calculated using the equation below (based

on Eq. 8.2):

F = vr

M K1 kcol .

K1 + kcol .

................................................................................................................... 8.4

t =

(iii)

M ( K1 + kcol . )

K1 kcol .

................................................................................................................ 8.5

218

F

K1

Based on the calculated vehicle deformation value, two cases may be considered:

C=

A. C Cmax

This represents vehicle deformation before the column contacts the engine. In this case,

the impulse is given by the F and t values as calculated in Eqs. 8.4 and 8.5.

B. C > Cmax

This represents vehicle deformation after the column contacts the engine. In this case,

the equivalent impact force is calculated using the following equation (based on Eq.

8.3):

......................................................................................... 8.6

t =

M vr

F

....................................................................................................................................... 8.7

Fig. 8.7 compares the equivalent impact force-velocity relationships determined using

Eq. 2.2 (using either vehicle or column stiffness) and using Eqs. 8.4 and 8.6. In these

calculations, the vehicle stiffness was 510kN/m and the column stiffness was

22937710N/m for the column with section UC 305305118 under an axial load ratio

(P/PDesign) of 0.425.

2.5E+06

2.0E+06

Using vehicle stiffness

1.5E+06

Before contact

1.0E+06

Using the proposed modification

5.0E+05

0.0E+00

0

18

27

36

45

Impact velocity(km/h)

Figure 8.7: Comparison of the equivalent impact force - impact velocity curves between using

column stiffness only, vehicle stiffness only and combined stiffness for a simply supported steel

column section UC 305305118.

219

Figs 8.5 and 8.6 compare the different critical impact velocity - axial load curves

obtained from the dynamic analyses using the modified impulse calculation method

with using either the vehicle stiffness only or the column stiffness only, and with

ABAQUS vehicle impact analysis.

Because the elastic column stiffness was many times (>30) greater than the vehicle

stiffness, the modified impulse was almost the same as that calculated using the vehicle

stiffness only. Hence, the results in Figs. 8.5 and 8.6 show that when column failure

occurred before the vehicle deformation reached the engine position, the proposed

modification for calculating the impulse gave almost identical results compared with

using the vehicle stiffness only and much better results when compared with using the

column stiffness only.

However, when column failure occurred after the column had made contact with the

vehicle engine and the vehicle should be treated as a rigid body, continuing to use the

vehicle elastic stiffness only for calculating the impulse would mean continued energy

absorption by the vehicle. This would result in overestimation (unsafe) of the critical

impact velocity. Using the modified impulse correctly limited the energy absorption by

the vehicle and produced critical impact velocities that are reasonably close to, and

provide a safe estimation of, the ABAQUS vehicle impact simulation results.

Figs. 8.5 and 8.6 show that the impulse analysis results are not sensitive to the axial load

ratio, particularly when the axial load ratio is low. This is because the impact force was

high and the analysis results were not sensitive to the time duration of the impulse

(Thilakarathna et al., 2010). Nevertheless, using the proposed modification for impulse

made a huge improvement to the critical velocity results compared with using only

either the vehicle or column stiffness.

In summary, using the proposed method of calculating the dynamic impulse eliminated

the gross errors of using either the column stiffness only or the vehicle stiffness only.

Although using the impulse-based dynamic analysis still resulted in some errors,

particularly when the applied axial loads were low, the dynamic analysis results may be

considered acceptable.

220

8.4.

Summary

This chapter has presented a detailed assessment of the design requirements suggested

by Eurocode 1 regarding the design of steel columns to resist vehicle impact. Both the

static and dynamic approaches in Eurocode1 have been evaluated. From the detailed

comparisons between the design results and the ABAQUS impact simulation results, the

following conclusions may be drawn:

(1) the equivalent static design forces may be considered acceptable for column design

if the column section sizes are moderate, as used in typical multi-storey buildings of

no more than 10 storeys. If the column sizes are greater, using the Eurocode 1

equivalent static forces will overestimate the axial compression resistance of the

columns especially when the columns are used in structures located in rural areas or

near national roads with high vehicle speeds. However, if the vehicle velocities are

low (<50 km/h), the Eurocode 1 equivalent static forces may still be used.

(2) Using a dynamic impulse to represent the dynamic action of vehicle impact is a

reasonable approximation. However, when calculating the force, it is not appropriate

to use only either the column elastic stiffness or the vehicle elastic stiffness, as

recommended by Eurocode 1. It is necessary to include both the column and vehicle

stiffness values. Furthermore, vehicle behaviour should be divided into two stages,

before the column is in contact with the vehicle engine and after contact. After the

column is in contact with the vehicle engine, the energy absorbed by the vehicle

should be limited by the maximum deformation of the vehicle. In this chapter, a

modification has been suggested for calculating the dynamic impulse of vehicle

impact. Using this modified dynamic impulse in dynamic analysis was able to

eliminate the gross errors caused by using only the vehicle stiffness or the column

stiffness and produced results of critical vehicle velocity that are close to the

ABAQUS vehicle impact simulation results.

221

Chapter Nine

Studies

9.1.Introduction

This thesis has presented, in detail, the work undertaken by the author in a PhD research

programme to investigate the behaviour of axially compressed steel columns under

vehicle impact. The ultimate aim of the research was to gain a thorough understanding

of the aforementioned problem and to develop an efficient, accurate and robust design

approach. This research included the following research work packages: numerical

modelling using ABAQUS/Explicit, a parametric study of steel column behaviour under

transverse impact, development of a simplified vehicle model, development of an

analytical method for column response under transverse impact and an assessment of

the current design provisions.

This chapter will summarise the main findings of the study in each of these packages

and provides recommendations for future research studies to improve or extend the

current work.

The following conclusions can be extracted from the following research tasks:

9.2.1. Numerical modelling of steel column behaviour under transverse

impact

a. The results presented in this thesis can be considered to have provided an extensive

body of evidence that the finite element code ABAQUS/Explicit is capable of

modelling axially loaded steel columns under transverse impact provided that the

associated geometrical, material and contact modelling parameters are selected and

implemented correctly as presented in this study. Based on the validation results

presented in this thesis, using first order (linear) three dimensional solid or shell

222

classical metal plasticity model in connection with the progressive damage and

failure model available in ABAQUS/Explicit can be used to simulate the behavior

and all possible failure modes of the steel columns subjected to transverse impact.

Contact interaction between the impacting body and the steel column can be

simulated using either the contact pair algorithm or the general contact algorithm

available in ABAQUS/Explicit, depending on the type of surfaces involved in the

contact, with hard and penalty friction formulations to describe the mechanical

properties in the normal and tangential directions respectively.

b. It has been proven numerically that damping has only a minor effect on the

response and contact force of pre-compressed columns subjected to transverse

impact load.

9.2.2. Behaviour and failure modes of steel columns under transverse impact

a. Global buckling is the predominant failure mode for axially unrestrained compressed

steel columns under transverse impact. Some column failure may involve large

local flange distortion at, and around, the impact area. However, detailed

inspections of the column behaviour at failure simulated in this study have revealed

that the flange local distortion is a result, not the cause, of column global failure.

b. The value of the kinetic energy of the impact is the key factor in determining the

columns global failure. At the same impact kinetic energy, different values of

impacting mass and velocity have a minor effect on column failure.

c. Except at very low levels of axial compressive loads (<25% design resistance), the

formation of the plastic hinge within the column length is almost independent of the

impact position, with the plastic hinge location being close to the centre of the

column.

d. The most critical direction of impact is that which causes bending of the column

about the minor axis.

e. Damping can be neglected when calculating the critical impact velocity because of

its minor effects on column behaviour and failure.

223

f. Both strain hardening and strain rate have beneficial effects on column critical

impact velocity. While it is important to include the effect of strain hardening in the

development of a simplified method, the effect of strain rate can be discarded safely

because of the relatively low influence of this effect.

a. It is not appropriate to assume vehicles as rigid impactors when studying the

behaviour of columns under vehicle impact.

b. The impacting vehicle can be simplified as a spring mass system with the linear

spring representing the stiffness characteristics of the vehicle. The spring force deformation relationship is assumed to be bilinear, with the first part representing

the vehicle deformation behaviour up to the engine box and the second part

representing the stiffness of the engine box, which can be assumed to be rigid.

c. The current study has presented a method to obtain the stiffness value of a vehicle

before reaching the engine box. This method is based on using the method originally

suggested by Campbell to obtain the vehicle force - deformation relationship per unit

width and integrating this force - deformation relationship over the deformation

profile of the vehicle after impact on a column with a finite width. Comparison

between the vehicle stiffness values derived in such a way and those extracted from

the corresponding numerical simulations indicates that the difference is less than

25% for different column section sizes.

transverse impact.

a. A quasi-static response for an impacted steel column can be assumed when

conducting an energy balance analysis of the vehicle-column system. The energy

absorbed by the column is by elastic deformation and plastic hinge rotation at the

plastic hinge locations. It is important to include the work undertaken by the axial

force in the column due to column shortening when undergoing lateral deformation.

Column global plastic buckling occurs when the column plastic hinge mechanism

loses equilibrium under an axial compressive force in a deformed state. The final

column equilibrium position determines the maximum plastic hinge rotations.

224

b. To calculate the energy absorbed by the vehicle, the maximum deformation of the

vehicle frontal structure is determined based on the maximum transverse static

resistance of the column. The Eurocode 3 method to obtain the column transverse

static resistance under the influence of an axial load is overly conservative. An

alternative column transverse static resistance axial force relationship has been

proposed.

c. To include the effect of strain hardening, the average of the steel yield stress and

ultimate tensile stress can be approximately used in the elastic-perfectly-plastic

representation of the steel stress-strain relationship.

9.2.5. Assessment of current design methods in Eurocode 1

a. The equivalent static design force approach can be used in the design of steel

columns with moderate sizes which are typically used in low multi-storey buildings

of no more than 10 storeys. For bigger sizes of columns, this study has shown that

it is unsafe to use the Eurocode 1 equivalent static forces especially when the

columns are used in structures located in rural areas or near national roads when the

vehicle velocity exceeds 80 km/h.

b. It is acceptable to use dynamic impulse to represent the dynamic action of vehicle

impact in a dynamic analysis. However, it is not appropriate to use only either the

column elastic stiffness or the vehicle elastic stiffness to calculate the equivalent

impulse force as recommended by Eurocode 1. Instead, it is necessary to include

both the column and vehicle stiffness values with the vehicle behaviour divided into

two stages: before, and after, the column is in contact with the vehicle engine.

Since this research is amongst the first in the numerical and analytical studies of the

behaviour of axially loaded steel columns subjected to vehicle impact, it was not

possible to cover all aspects of the problem. A number of further research studies can be

pursued to improve the knowledge and understanding in this area:

1. The present study has focused on the behaviour of H section steel columns under

vehicle impact. The behaviour of other section shapes should be investigated. In

addition, the study can also be developed to consider other types of columns including

225

reinforced concrete columns, pre-stressed concrete columns and concrete filled steel

columns.

2. The numerical simulations carried out in this study have utilized solid elements to

model the steel column. Although using solid elements gives more accurate results, it

requires a large amount of computation time. Using line (beam) elements will be much

more efficient, particularly as a tool for practical design. It would, however, be

necessary to check the accuracy of using more simplified simulation methods.

3. The current study has focused on vehicle impact in the direction that would cause

column bending about the weak axis of the column, this being considered as the most

critical direction of impact. Further research studies could investigate in more detail the

behaviour of column behaviour under impact in other directions.

4. In this study, the steel column is subjected to pure axial compression without any

bending moment. The effects of combined axial compression and bending moment

should be investigated.

5. In the present study, the effect of vehicle impact on the behaviour and failure modes

of steel columns has been studied by investigating the impact behaviour of an isolated

column. Since the context of this research is structural robustness under extreme

loading, further research studies should be carried out to investigate the effect of whole

structures.

6. Because of its availability, the presented study has used the numerical model of a

Chevrolet C2500 1994 Pick-up vehicle to validate the proposed simplified numerical

vehicle model. Further research studies can be carried out to investigate whether the

proposed simplified vehicle model can be applied to other types of vehicles.

7. In the simplified analytical method, the moment-rotation curve of the plastic hinge

formed in the column is assumed to be elastic-perfectly plastic. For refinement of the

analytical model, more realistic moment-rotation curves (considering elastic-plastic

behaviour and strain hardening behaviour) should be investigated.

8. The analytical model has been developed based on the assumption of column failure

by global buckling. The effects of energy absorption in the column through local

226

absorbed by shear deformation in the column may have some effect, particularly when

the impact location is very close to the column base. This should be researched.

9. It is expected that the conclusions of this research can be applied to columns under

impact from other sources, such as cranes, rocks and flying debris. Further research

studies may be undertaken to assess the applicability of the proposed method of analysis

in such cases.

227

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233

Appendix A: Publications

Appendix A

Publications

The following papers were extracted from this study:

A.

Published papers:

[1]. AL-THAIRY, H. & WANG, Y. C. 2011. A numerical study of the behaviour

and failure modes of axially compressed steel columns subjected to transverse

impact. International Journal of Impact Engineering, 38, 732-744.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijimpeng.2011.03.00

[2]. AL-THAIRY, H. & WANG, Y. C. 2010. Numerical and Analytical Study of

Behavior of Axially Loaded Steel Columns Subjected to Transverse Impact. 4th

International Conference on Steel & Composite Structures (ICSCS). Sydney,

Australia: Research Publishing Services.

B.

Submitted papers:

[1]. AL-THAIRY, H. & WANG, Y. C. 2011. A Simplified Analytical Method for

Predicting the Critical Velocity of Transverse Rigid Body Impact on Steel

Columns International Journal of Impact Engineering, Submitted in July 2011.

[2]. AL-THAIRY, H. & WANG, Y. C. 2011. Simplified FE vehicle model for

assessing the vulnerability of axially compressed steel columns against vehicle

frontal impact. Journal of Constructional Steel Research, Submitted in June 2012.

[3]. AL-THAIRY, H. & WANG, Y. C. 2012. An Assessment of the Current

Eurocode 1 Design Methods for Building Structure Steel Columns under Vehicle

Impact. Journal of Constructional Steel Research, Submitted in July 2012.

234

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